Union County Commissioners seeking help in identifying poor Internet coverage

Union County Commissioners seeking help in identifying poor Internet coverage

December 10—LEWISBURG — Union County Commissioners are asking for the public’s help in identifying areas that receive little or no broadband Internet service and they must do so before January 13 so that the county can potentially receive funding.

Commissioner Stacy Richards said the council is asking the public to visit a web page on Union County’s website https://unioncountypa.org/national-broadband-map/ to help residents easily complete this task.

Also, Union County residents who do not have Internet access can contact the county GIS office at 570-524-8739 to have their status and information documented and uploaded.

Richards and fellow commissioners Jeff Reber and Preston Boop are asking residents to fill out the forms so the county can receive some of the allocated funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law in November 2021.

Richards said she knows there are problems in some regions of the country, and she wants to be able to get the funding the country deserves for those individuals who struggle for internet service.

“Billions of dollars are being invested across the country to provide Internet service, especially to those who are underserved or not served at all,” she said. “In our region and in Union County, there are a lot of places that are underserved and not served, and we want to make sure we get our share of funds in our area.”

Richards said she wants people to visit the website and app and report the issues, so it reflects on the service card.

“We are asking all broadband customers in the region to go to the website and click on map and type in (their) address and then also to the right of that, scroll down and make sure your internet provider is listed,” she said. “If it’s inaccurate, hit the challenge button, and it allows you to change it so that the Federal Communications Commission will investigate and make sure that correction is made.”

Richards said it is essential that people visit the app.

“All funding for the next few years will depend on this map and the awards will be based on this,” she said. “We really ask the public to participate in this.”

Richards said by participating, it will help all residents.

“We want to make sure everyone gets service,” she said. “We have excellent service in some areas and especially in the western part of the country there is virtually no service, even with mobile devices. People are still suffering with dial-up and we need to get broadband that is reliable and make sure that people know how to use it.”

Richards said the money is a big deal for the country.

“We can’t afford to provide it on our own and service providers can’t do it, so this funding will help everyone,” she said.

Richards said the map had just been released and commissioners wanted to inform the public. Richards said the deadline is Jan. 13 for people to use the app and if they don’t and no changes are made, the funding may not be as much as the province would like to see.

Richards said she encourages people to visit the website well before January 13

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