Legislators want more Franklin County residents to take state broadband survey

MALONE — District 7 Legislator Lindy Ellis provided an update on the push for more broadband coverage to the Franklin County Board of Legislators during its meeting Thursday morning.

“New York state is working to identify unserved and underserved areas. The amount of money that New York state is going to apply for building out the broadband infrastructure will be based on this mapping process.” Ellis said.

Ellis added that she had talked with Sandy Nichols of Franklin County Emergency Services about “pushing out a request to all of the phones in Franklin County about doing this survey for broadband.”

The survey is for the state’s Broadband Assessment Program to help the Department of Public Service better understand issues relating to broadband availability and adoption in specific areas and the state as a whole, according to the program’s website.

A plan to develop a call line locally is underway which will be used to get paper copies of the survey to individuals who do not have internet.

“Right now, Franklin County is third highest response rate for the survey out of the 62 counties in New York state,” Ellis said. “We also just put in 80 more responses from the town of Franklin to the total of Franklin County survey responses.”

“Are we in general OK with pushing this and getting the word out?” Ellis asked the rest of the board.

“I think that is the best way to do it,” Board Chair and District 5 Legislator Don Dabiew said.

Vice Chair and District 2 Legislator Greg Janisewski agreed.

Ellis said that a $1,000 grant from the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board, could be used for advertising the broadband survey.

Once a local call line comes close to being established, the county will begin to display advertisements for the broadband survey on its website, on social media and in local school districts.

“We want broadband for everybody, but our biggest target demographic is schools,” Malone Mayor and District 3 Legislator Andrea Dumas said.

Ellis said the state Department of Public Service plans to close the survey sometime in March and advised the board that planning to get the word out should be done within the next two weeks.

County residents can get ahead and participate in the survey before it closes by visiting www.empirestatebroadband.com.


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