ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR) — Broadband has been a problem in rural areas for awhile. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says the pandemic made these issues impossible to ignore.
“It’s something we’ve been pointing to for a number of years. It finally hit a point in which it’s never been more crucial than today,” says Picente.
Since the pandemic, Picente says the county’s office has been flooded with calls and emails of residents complaining about their internet connections. He says this is why they partnered with Herkimer County to come up with a broadband survey.
“That’s why this survey is so important to see where those where those light spots or blanks pots are. I mean we have a general idea but we really need a better scope of it,” says Picente.
The survey can be found at mveddbroadband.com and it’s open until August 7th. Picente is urging anyone with connection issues to fill one out so the counties can begin taking action.
He explains that the county will look at, “expanding the infrastructure, expanding the fibers, expanding the lines, working with providers. . . What are the easier areas? Where are the ones that are going to take longer terms? I think we would be looking at no where less than 6 months after that survey is completed.”
Picente says they’ll begin figuring out a plan and costs after the surveys are collected and analyzed.