Survey looks to determine internet needs in Clarion County

The Clarion County Economic Development Corp. has outlined a plan to conduct a survey of county residents regarding their broadband service, or lack of it.

CCEDC economic development specialist Jarred Heuer said, through the Clarion County Broadband survey, the organization “seeks to understand the current level of high-speed internet access and internet access needs” in order to create a strategic plan.

“As part of this process, we are gathering information from residents and businesses about their internet that will help us develop strategies to improve service,” he told the county commissioners during the board’s meeting this week.

It is of “significant importance,” he said, that the CCEDC hear directly from Clarion residents and not rely solely on data reports and maps.

“It is the CCEDC’s understanding that the need for reliable and affordable broadband in Clarion County is great,” Heuer said. “Residents and business owners understand that all too well.

“It is our hope that this survey will pinpoint that need and make evident Clarion County’s case for broadband deployment funding.”

The responses to the survey will remain anonymous, he said. It will only be reported as part of a larger statistical analysis to determine where Clarion County could use federal grant funding to enhance internet speed and availability.

Heuer said the survey could lead to a $2 million grant from the federal government. The county would have a $1.1 million match. The county’s existing tower network could be utilized in the new network.

The survey can be found at Heuer said the survey takes about five minutes to complete.