Residents surveyed on electronic communicationsSome Lake County residents can expect to be contacted regarding their phone, television and Internet use beginning next week.
By: Holly Henry, Lake County News Chronicle
Some Lake County residents can expect to be contacted regarding their phone, television and Internet use beginning next week.
A firm will be conducting a survey on behalf of Lake County, according to board of commissioners’ chair Paul Bergman. A random sample of residents and businesses contacted will be asked about their current telephone, television and Internet usage, as well as their level of satisfaction with current service options.
The results will help the county board determine whether a county sponsored high-speed fiber optics network would be commercially viable.
Residents will also be asked about their level of interest in subscribing to the fiber network from a county sponsored enterprise in which the funds have been made available through a new federal government stimulus package specifically for broadband in rural communities.
Participating in the survey is entirely voluntary, according to Bergman. Each interview should take less than 10 minutes and respondents will not be asked to make any commitment to purchasing services, he said. The telephone survey of residents should begin June 12 and last through June 23.
“Having good data on residents’ and businesses expenditures on the services, as well as their level of interest in the superior services of a county sponsored fiber optic network will provide useful insight to whether the venture will be supported through user revenues,” said National Public Broadband representative Gary Fields. National Public Broadband is the organization that is helping the county develop a fiber network.
In April, the Lake County Board of Commissioners issued a request for proposals from firms interested in designing, building and operating a Lake County owned fiber network. The proposed network is expected to provide improved telephone, television and Internet services at lower costs via fiber-optic cable. The primary source of funding would be federal stimulus dollars.
According to Lake County Fiber Project Consultant Chris Swanson, the network will not be supported by Lake County taxpayers. Swanson said National Public Broadband, a new non-profit organization made up of individuals who have built community-owned fiber networks, was selected to assist Lake County. A key part of the federal proposal is a market study that documents the demand for the improved services.
For further information contact Chris Swanson at (218) 590-9500.