County internet service survey seeks household, business input

by Kate Shunney

Morgan County residents received a printed survey in their mailboxes last week asking for information about the quality and cost of local broadband internet service.

The Morgan County Commission, with a $75,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is planning ways to improve or provide reasonable-cost broadband internet service to all county residents.

A technology firm, Design Nine of Virginia, was hired in the spring to prepare a broadband plan. One step in that planning is to survey residents and property owners about what kind of internet service they have, how fast it is, what it costs and how important the service is in their household or at their business.

The two-page survey, which is also available online through the Morgan County government website, also asks about cellular phone service, cable TV service, why residents chose their internet provider and what they would pay for high speed broadband internet.

A business version of the survey asks about the impact of internet quality on business functions and employees.

Both of the surveys ask for street addresses for those answering the questions.

Paper copies of the surveys were available for pickup and to be dropped off at the Morgan County Public Library in Berkeley Springs, the Paw Paw Public Library, the Morgan County Commission office in the courthouse and Reed’s Pharmacy in Berkeley Springs. Authors of the survey asked that they be returned or completed online by this past Monday, October 15.

County officials have said they hope to get future grants to bring broadband internet coverage to all parts of the county.