From staff reports
The Clarion County Economic Development Corporation has selected Design Nine of Blacksburg, Va., to implement the Clarion County Connected Broadband Engineering Plan.
Design Nine will analyze existing broadband assets in the county including those offered by local telecom service providers, cable companies and government organizations that provide communications services through schools and first responders.
The company will analyze the types of broadband services available, broadband use patterns and gaps in existing coverage, and make recommendations to the counties as to how to improve service.
Residential and business surveys
A key part of the Design Nine data collection process is public surveys from both businesses and residents regarding their current broadband connections. Residential and business surveys are now available to the public at several locations throughout the county, as well as online.
The results from these surveys will provide a detailed map of broadband usage and coverage data needed to complete the study. The survey period ends Aug. 12.
Online surveys can be found by visiting the CCEDC’s website at www.ClarionCountyEDC.com.
The study will serve as a guide for the implementation of a modern broadband network for Clarion County. It will also provide the standards necessary for Clarion County to apply to state, federal and non-governmental funding agencies.
About the plan
In October 2021, the CCEDC was awarded a $50,000 Area Development Grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission to fund the Clarion County Connected Broadband Engineering Plan.
This grant, matched by the Clarion County Commissioners, will produce a “roadmap” for deploying broadband where it is most needed, thereby facilitating remote learning, telemedicine, access to e-commerce, employer recruitment and retention, and the ability for residents to telecommute.
The data gathered will provide the knowledge needed to help local leaders and stakeholders make prudent decisions about the next steps required to expand broadband access in Clarion County.
With broadband connectivity becoming a national conversation, this engineering plan will lend credibility to future funding opportunities as they become available.
For more local news, visit TheClarionNews.com.