Delco Launches Survey On Broadband Internet Access

DELAWARE COUNTY, PA — Do you or someone you know have bad internet in Delaware County? If so, county officials want to know via a new survey that seeks to gauge data on residents’ access to broadband internet.

The county created a survey to identify residential and commercial locations that don’t have access to broadband internet or that have limited access in order to identify places where broadband infrastructure does not exist or places that do not meet the minimum speed suggested by the FCC for appropriate service.

According to the county, 14 percent ;of Pennsylvania households do not have an internet subscription, and 3.1 percent of Pennsylvanians live in areas where, under the FCC’s benchmark, there is no broadband infrastructure.

Even where infrastructure is available, broadband is too expensive for some residents and small business owners.

Access to broadband internet is not just a luxury and a convenience; is a necessity for many residents and business owners. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated just how dependent we are on reliable high-speed internet for work, education, healthcare, and goods and services.

During the pandemic students attended school remotely, many people worked from home, meetings were held virtually, jobs interviews were held online, telemedicine appointments replaced in-person checkups and appointments, and groceries and other household goods were ordered online and delivered.

Those who had access to broadband internet were able to adjust to these changes without disruption. Those without reliable internet access suffered and were at a significant disadvantage.

“Council’s goal is to bridge the digital divide that we know exists in the county,” Delaware County Councilwoman Christine Reuther said. “Reliable internet access is necessary for our children to learn and thrive, for many residents to work, and for our small businesses to be competitive and succeed.”

Under the recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pennsylvania will receive millions of dollars to help provide broadband coverage across the state and 23 percent of people in Pennsylvania will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

“Delaware County residents and businesses struggling with broadband affordability and access now have an opportunity and we will need to work together to help ensure that Delaware County receives its fair share of funding,” Reuther said.

Delaware County has launched a survey to collect data about the availability of internet service for both residential and business addresses in Delaware County.

Residents can take the survey online here.

All residents and business owners are urged to take the survey.

More responses will lead to more accurate data to help the county bridge the digital divide.

Respondents are asked to take the survey on wireless internet connections, not on cellular data. Residents can complete the survey on your phone, but when connected to your residential or workplace internet Wi-Fi.

Those without internet access at home can visit any Delaware County library, municipal building, State Senator’s office, or State Representative’s office to connect to wifi to complete the survey or request a paper copy of the survey.

The survey is expected to be available through Jan. 14, 2022.

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