Residents are again being asked to participate in questions about their internet service.
A group, ARBroadbandNow, has been tasked by the state department of communications to gather qualitative data in an effort to determine the areas in which funds most crucially need to be spent.
Lou McAlister, a spokesman fro the group, said they were looking to “help figure out the state of broadband access” across the state.
Stating that 400 million dollars had been allocated to the effort of delivering access throughout the state, McAlister added that some $800 million more could be had in the near future and that “it may be a future where money is always available” for prospective projects.
“It’s a big thing, a must have,” he said of access, comparing it to rural electrification.
However, he said it was necessary to spend the money wisely, so the survey will impact in some way how money is allocated.
“The money spent in the past was not as tightly controlled, and we are looking to help improve on that. The state has given us the directive of helping them be more efficient in spending.”
Ultimately, he hopes to get input from any and all residents in the state.
“We will be visiting all 75 counties in Arkansas, hopefully four times each, and it is necessary to share the survey with all residents. Comments are wanted, we are wanting to hear stories that will give us a full picture of the current situation, to engage with all the people we can.”
McAlister said that they would be happy to hold town hall meetings in any community that wished to hold such.
And with all those words, McAlister said it all boiled down to simply “please fill out the survey.
“It’s as simple as that, and yet vitally important to the state.”
To utilize the QR codes — that include a broadband speed test of your current service, and the survey itself — simply point you qualified phone’s camera at the code and go to the link that will pop up.
For those without smart phones, visit broadbandtest.us and www.surveymonkey.com/r/arbroadband.
More information can be obtained at www.broadband.arkansas.gov.