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Broadband Improvement Survey



The County Broadband Improvement Committee has undertaken an initiative to expand high-quality Internet service throughout our community. The goal is to ensure that all residents have access to high-speed broadband service to access telemedicine resources and online educational opportunities and be able to work from home. It is also essential for businesses to have sufficient internet reliability and capacity to support their current needs and their ability to stay competitive and grow.

"After a global pandemic that forced us to reinvent how we do and get services, work, go to school and buy groceries, the internet proved to be an essential service that can be of utmost help when available and affordable, said Mayor Morn. " These two are key to communities like ours, and that is why we have partnered with the Broadband Improvement Committee."

This broadband initiative is not about moving Berks County into competition with the private sector providers but rather identifying the obstacles that currently exist making access unaffordable, difficult, or simply unavailable. This effort will result in several recommendations.

While Berks County and the City of Reading will not have the resources to implement every recommendation, the Broadband committee will prioritize the recommendations so Berks County can address the recommendations with the greatest community benefit first.

Expanding high-quality, affordable internet service is a major undertaking.

The multiple-stage process of expanding access begins with accurately identifying areas within Berks County that have no Internet access or unreliable and inadequate service. To do this, data will be gathered from many technical sources, including carriers. However, we also believe it is important to understand the impact on daily life and want to hear from residents and businesses about their experiences with gaps in service and their concerns about the cost of service.

Please consider helping with this important part of the process by completing the survey available at this link: https://www.jotform.com/broadband_survey/berks-county

The survey has two parts and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. It is best to complete both parts at the same time, if possible.

PART A

Questions focus on: (1) Information about the Internet connection you used for this survey, including its actual location/address. This will ensure that when we are documenting the need for federal or state funding requests, we are not duplicating data. (2) Information about your current use of and satisfaction with your Internet service. You may choose to provide your email address to allow for data verification, but this step is not required.

PART B

The survey will ask you to run a short Internet connection test that is important for us to document the actual strength of your connection.

Thank you for helping us gather the critical information we need to develop and implement a plan to expand high-quality Internet service throughout Berks County.

The County Broadband Improvement Committee partners in this effort includes:

* 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

* Wyomissing Foundation

More information is available at https://www.co.berks.pa.us/broadband/Pages/default.aspx

Sincerely,
Mayor Eddie Morán

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