Oneida & Herkimer Counties Seek Broadband Input from Residents & Businesses

Survey Now Available Online

Oneida and Herkimer counties are urging residents and businesses to participate in an online survey hosted by the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District that will help to assess broadband needs and advance availability.

“This survey is the first step in bridging the digital divide in Oneida County,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “It has never been clearer than during this pandemic how vital reliable access to broadband is to our residents and businesses. From remote learning to online meetings to virtual healthcare to ordering products and supplies, being connected to the internet has become an absolute necessity. We must ensure that all of our communities are on equal footing.”

The survey is available at www.mveddbroadband.com until Aug 7, 2021. Participants will find separate surveys for residents and businesses of each county, as well as an internet connection speed test.

Oneida and Herkimer counties, MVEDD and the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties have partnered to fund a Broadband Availability and Adoption Campaign, which in addition to the survey, includes an assessment that establishes an inventory of broadband infrastructure.

Broadband access includes not only making sure that people have access to reliable and high-quality internet services by ensuring adequate build out of physical infrastructure, but also making sure that residents are able to adopt these services into their life once they are available.

“For a small rural community like Herkimer County, the expansion of broadband is crucial for economic, educational and health advancement, said Herkimer County Chairman Vincent J. Bono. “During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw just how important it is to have connect-ability for the survival of a community. Lack of broadband capabilities to any community, hinders progress not just during an emergency, but also certainly during any given normal day.”

The information collected from the survey will be kept confidential. The survey results will be used to help develop a plan for improving internet access throughout the region and provide the basis for securing federal and state grants to implement the plan.

Those who would like to participate, but do not have internet or cellular phone access, can contact MVEDD at (315) 838-5398 for assistance.