A survey identifying areas of Scott County that has little to no internet access has garnered 500 responses so far, said County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington.
“We have used billboards and other messaging to get the word out that we need data to know what areas of the county have poor or no broadband internet service,” he said. “We are taking the information we are getting and mapping out the county to show where those areas are.”
Expanding internet service to all areas of the county has been a goal of Covington’s, and he mentioned it in his State of the County address earlier this year. He believes that getting internet throughout the county is important for student and economic success and continued growth in the county.
“I call it a homework gap,” he said drawing from his experience in Scott County Schools, including principal at Scott County High School. “The reality is that students living in rural areas don’t have access to internet for homework and research.”
He also said that a growing number of home-based businesses throughout the county rely on the internet, and what internet access a home has is important to homebuyers.
“I am hearing from realtors that one of the questions they get all the time is what kind of internet access does the home they are looking at have,” Covington said.
Covington said they will take the information from the survey and work with internet providers about the possibility of expanding services into those areas that are underserved. They will look at towers that can reach a five-mail radius, and there is no cost to the county for expanding service, he said.