The Berks County Commissioners have undertaken an initiative to review broadband availability, affordability and overall accessibility throughout the county and are asking residents to provide feedback about their current Internet access.
The County is partnering with several community organizations on this project with the goal of ensuring that all residents have access to fast, affordable and reliable Internet service to thrive in today’s virtual world.
Expanding broadband access requires a multiple stage process that begins with accurately identifying areas within Berks County that have unreliable, inadequate or no Internet access at all. The Commissioners believe it is important to hear directly from residents and businesses about any coverage gaps they are experiencing and collect information about service costs and quality.
To gather this information, the County has launched a broadband survey. The survey includes two parts: First, several questions that ask about the user’s current Internet needs and satisfaction with service followed by a short test that is important to help document the actual strength of the connection used to complete the survey.
The survey and more information about the Berks broadband initiative can be found at countyofberks.com/broadband.
The information collected through the survey will be used in conjunction with data collected from various technical sources, including carriers. Lit Communities Broadband has also been hired to perform a feasibility study and other necessary evaluations to enable the County to effectively advocate for and leverage state and federal funds dedicated to improving broadband access.
The County of Berks has partnered with the following community organizations in this initiative: Berks Alliance, Berks County Community Foundation, Berks County Intermediate Unit, City of Reading, Penn State Health St. Joseph
Medical Center, Reading Public Library, Reading School District, United Way of Berks County, UPMC For You Health Plan and Wyomissing Foundation.