In today’s fast-paced digital world, the economic wellbeing of a region and the personal fortunes of any individual are inextricably tied to the access and flow of information. Even today there …
In today’s fast-paced digital world, the economic wellbeing of a region and the personal fortunes of any individual are inextricably tied to the access and flow of information. Even today there exist large gaps in Sullivan County between those with access to wireless broadband and those without.
These gaps were laid bare during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people were forced to adopt a more digitally remote form of existence. Business owners had to conduct transactions online. Employees had to collaborate with supervisors and colleagues via video conference calls. Students had to attend virtual classes and local governments had to learn how to live stream meetings online.
When the whole world goes remote then we come to understand that wireless broadband must be considered ‘infrastructure’ as much as roads and bridges.
As the Democrat reported on Friday, the Sullivan Broadband Local Development Corporation has approved their budget for 2022 while they look to close some of these gaps that currently exist across the county.
The stated goal of the Sullivan Broadband Local Development Corporation (LDC), as established by the Sullivan County Legislature, is to oversee the implementation of the County's Wireless Broadband Access Project, with a goal of providing wireless broadband service countywide.
Equipment is already installed on the tower in Monticello near the County Jail, and it will be the first one to come online to offer broadband service on a subscriber basis. According to Sullivan County Chief Information Officer, Lorne Green, everything is completed at that site and Integrated Systems has begun testing the signal strength.
The LDC is also working on two other locations; one on East Broadway in Monticello and the other at the County's Health and Family Services complex in Liberty.
Separate from the county’s efforts to get its own wireless broadband system up and running, New York State is asking every resident and business to participate in their broadband assessment survey.
This first-ever in-depth mapping study of broadband across New York State will measure where it is and where it is not, as well as how reliable it is in that area and how much it costs
In order to get the required level of detail, the State is asking everyone to participate in the Broadband Mapping Consumer Survey, which can be found at www.empirestatebroadband.com.
You may be asking yourself, how can I go online to tell the state I don’t have any broadband service? The state says any person in that type of situation can visit their local library to fill out the survey.
These local efforts are encouraging, but there is much to be done. The LDC is applying for federal grant money recently approved to address 21st century infrastructure projects across the county. It’s imperative that Sullivan County get its fair share.
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