Update: This article has been updated with a new link to the survey, which can be found here.
Portage County leaders are asking residents to fill out a survey about their home internet connection, hoping to learn — down to each household — who needs better broadband access.
The survey is part of a push led by the Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (EMA) to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure. The Portager detailed this effort in a February article.
Several areas, including Hiram, Paris and parts of Freedom, are internet dead zones. For a few thousand unlucky residents, internet service providers refuse to extend broadband lines to their homes, and many of them must rely on using cell phone hotspots to get online.
County commissioners and the EMA announced the new surveys this week. Anyone can access the survey on the Portage County website or by visiting local libraries and participating municipal and township buildings.
The survey should be submitted by July 27 to email@example.com or mailed to the Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 8240 Infirmary Road, Ravenna, Ohio 44266. Residents can also visit the EMA office to request a paper survey.
The county previously conducted a study to identify underserved or unserved areas. But in conversations with residents, they discovered the publicly available maps from the FCC and others are inconsistent with the reality in Portage County’s rural homes.
“We thank you for taking the time to complete the following survey,” county commissioners said in a note to residents. “Results assist Portage County with making decisions to enhance broadband capability.”
Residents can contact the EMA for more information at 330-297-3607.
Ben Wolford is the editor and publisher of The Portager.
Hi I tried the link to take survey for internet and received a error. I searched county website for internet survey and after a few screens ended up at same page, with same error. I live in Hiram Township and the only access to internet is Windstream which requires a landline and is about 120 per month. Our cell service signal is so bad Verizon sent us a booster that requires internet to get a solid cell signal.. near Hiram rapids and 700. There is a cell phone dead zone so using hot spot not a option. Have to go Windstream… thanks for all the information you supply. Enjoy reading your emails. I will try survey again on another day hope just a temporary glitch
I also tried the link to the survey and it is not functioning. Do you have a better link you can share with your readers?
Thanks! They sent us a new link and the article is now updated.