Local broadband internet expansion efforts are underway, funded through the Shelby County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). However, additional funding opportunities are becoming available for broadband infrastructure. To be eligible for these grants, and to stretch ARPA funding even further, a broadband strategy must be developed.
As the start with any strategy, we must understand where the deficiencies and gaps of service occur. To identify the deficiencies and gaps, we are asking Shelby County residents to participate in a survey of their broadband internet experience. Input from our neighbors will guide our decision-making for the overall strategy. While we have access to government compiled data and other resources, there is nothing more influential than hearing from residents themselves. Your input will confirm where quality coverage already exists, where the coverage drops off, and identify other obstacles we face.
Compiled data of our broadband internet speeds indicates our villages and the City of Sidney are well-served, but like many Ohio counties, outlying rural areas are unserved/under-served with broadband internet speeds. 37% of Shelby County households don’t meet the standards set by the FCC for minimum access broadband internet speeds. We want to understand why. Is it because service is not available in that area, or is it because the service is unaffordable for residents? You are the “boots on the ground”, your input will provide us the true picture of internet accessibility in our county.
This survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete. As encouragement for your help, survey participants will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Sidney/Shelby Chamber of Commerce gift certificate. Eight winners will be drawn, one from each Shelby County zip code. Each address is limited to one entry into the drawing.
Please note: if you take this survey, it is vital that you take it on your local internet connection, not through a cell phone or other mobile hotspot or on publicly available Wi-Fi.
If you have questions, please contact Angela Hamberg, Shelby County Regional Planning Commission at 937-498-7273.
Thank you for your help in making our county even better today and for tomorrow,
The CONNECT Shelby County Team*
*In an effort to develop this broadband strategy, to benefit the entire county, Shelby County applied to participate in an instructional planning and capacity-building program for community-driven broadband expansion. Shelby County is one of 4 Ohio teams chosen to participate in the BroadbandOhio Community Accelerator Cohort a state sponsored program.
The CONNECT Shelby County team is comprised of 15 entities (non-profit organizations, local government offices, healthcare, library, technology entities and community organizations).