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Broadband Internet Expansion - Citizen Input Needed

Last Updated on Mar 4, 2020 at 10:26am | Communications Office
Garrett County Government is committed to helping its citizens and businesses access the services they need, which includes connection to high-speed broadband internet service. Currently, the infrastructure within Garrett County makes broadband internet available to approximately 75% of County occupied-addresses. To better understand where gaps in serviceability remain, Garrett County government is asking citizens to provide feedback on locally available internet.
 
An easy-to-use online portal has been developed to accept input on where internet service may be lacking or unavailable and can be found at http://www.garrettcounty.org/speedtest. This website-based survey will allow prospective and current customers the opportunity to provide feedback based on two different options:
 
Option 1 - Report a site with no service: will allow prospective customers to share an address where no broadband coverage exists and if the customer is interested in receiving service. Respondents can report where the nearest internet service provider (ISP) ends its service, if known. This is beneficial in understanding the associated costs of extending nearby services. Multiple submissions are allowed, so citizens can report additional addresses with no service.  This option can be completed from anywhere, including local libraries where public computers with internet service are available for use.
 
Option 2 - Test current service: is a method to both test current service levels and convey concerns with that service. By selecting this option, the website will automatically test the download and upload speed of your service. The customer can report the location of the service as well as data that will assist the broadband expansion team in understanding the satisfaction levels of the customer. This option must be completed at the location where the customer wants to share service information. In addition, if you wish to test your home internet connection with a device that also has a cellular connection, you must be sure to turn off the cellular connection first. 
 
The broadband expansion project team, which consists of Garrett County Economic Development (GCED), Garrett County Department of Technology (DoTCom), and CTC Technology & Energy, is asking for this assistance from the citizens of Garrett County to understand current broadband internet coverage and where service is still needed. The team works with existing Internet Service Providers to evaluate opportunities and to pursue funding to expand broadband service.
 
Once service-level information is gathered at the site above, efforts to expand broadband service can be focused on areas with the most need.  The survey will also help new residents and businesses determine what internet options are available at a new address when moving to the county.  In addition, this information will be used to help Internet Service Providers to identify sections of their network that are underperforming.
 
For any questions, please contact Garrett County Economic Development at 301-334-7281. The Garrett County Government greatly appreciates your support in helping build our infrastructure here in Garrett County.