Fayette County residents are invited to complete a survey that will help officials identify broadband connectivity needs countywide.
The Broadband Data Collection and Feasibility Study — also known as “Fast. fiber. Fayette.” — aims to show where investments are needed to ensure all residents have access to high-speed, affordable internet.
Fayette County Economic Development Coordinator Mark Rafail said the survey, which takes about five minutes to complete, will help outline a comprehensive, detailed plan for providing what has become an essential utility.
“Widespread participation in the survey will give us an accurate overview of where improvements are needed and coverage may be lacking. Having that data will allow us to seek the many state and federal funding sources available to implement connectivity plans,” he said.
“The survey is going to be part of our toolkit to, hopefully, increase high-speed internet accessibility for every home and business in Fayette County.”
Fayette County Commissioners Dave Lohr, chairman; Vince Vicites and Scott Dunn, partnered with Michael Baker International to develop the survey and associated marketing materials.
“A critical step in ensuring high-speed internet access is to gain a complete picture of Fayette County’s broadband needs. This analysis of current broadband status is incredibly helpful in understanding the coverage, speed, resources and gaps of connectivity,” said Michael Baker International’s Broadband Project Manager Paul Schneid, PMP, CSM.
“Our team at Michael Baker International is proud to partner with Fayette County on this important work, which will help deliver broadband equity throughout the region.”
By participating in the survey, residents will be entered for a chance to win one of more than 200 Fayette County logoed items.
Sponsored by the Fayette Chamber of Commerce to further incentivize participation, the prizes will be available to pick up at the chamber office, 65 W. Main St., Uniontown, PA 15401.
Additionally, the county has access to American Rescue Plan Act funds, which can help address gaps in connectivity and aid in improving Fayette’s economic development, public safety, agriculture, education, healthcare, quality of life and much more.
Lohr said reliable, high-speed internet is essential for Fayette County to remain competitive in a modern, technology-based economy.
“Our residents’ participation is key to unlocking access to unprecedented funding opportunities that have recently become available,” Lohr said.
“This survey will help inform our strategy for increasing high-speed internet access to underserved and unserved county residents,” Vicites said. “We’re encouraging every resident to take the survey and ensure their household’s needs are met.”
Dunn said the pandemic illuminates the need for all families to have access to broadband internet.
“Upgrading our internet will ensure Fayette County can continue to be competitive in education, industry and the digital economy,” Dunn said.
Existing internet speeds will also be tested during the survey, allowing residents to see their speed results in real time.
To access the survey directly, visit www.ConnectFayettePA.com. Questions or comments can be submitted via the contact form on the survey website.