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Posted April 14, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Frederick County IT hosting broadband workshop

By Sally Voth

Frederick County's information technology department continues to reach out to gauge residents' broadband needs.

A Tuesday demonstration is the latest step in doing so. The county's consultant on the department's broadband improvement project will take part in a remote discussion from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the first floor of the County Administration Building at 107 N. Kent St. Winchester.

The Center for Innovative Technology has been hired to analyze residents' needs and help the department plan implementation of broadband service, said Alisa Scott, an administrative assistant in the IT department.

In February, NOVEC Energy Solutions/NOVECnet gave a presentation at the department detailing its satellite broadband service.

The Manassas-based firm will return Tuesday to again demonstrate its services, along with four other providers, Scott said.

"We're inviting community members to come and talk about their frustrations and then the service providers are welcome to respond," she said.

Frederick County residents are also asked to take a survey on the county's website, at www.co.frederick.va.us, under the title "Website survey," or at www.frederickcountyva.gov/broadbandsurvey.

The survey can be completed from wherever residents can get Internet access, Scott said.

"We also are focused heavily on promoting the broadband survey," she said. "That will give us feedback as we collect data on where the underserved and unserved areas of broadband are in Frederick County."

Residents can come to the department to test out the broadband service on an iPad, Scott said.

Scott said the department vision is broadband access for all residents.

"Right now, the county can collect data," she said. "That's the first step of the project."

Next, a plan will be developed, Scott said.

"Down the line, the big picture, is to apply for federal grants that would allow us construction to bring fiber further out into the rural communities," she said.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

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