FREDERICK COUNTY, VA - Frederick County technology officials say internet is a big problem in the county. To address the issue, they held a public forum Tuesday and unveiled the "broadband project," which aims to increase internet and broadband coverage to unders-erved areas. Frederick County Technology Director Walter Banks says the Shawneeland, Gore, Star Tannery, and Mount Falls communities are under-served and need better coverage. "It's a big problem," Banks says. "If you don't have wireless broadband access it really cuts you off from the rest of the world."
Representatives from local and international telecommunications companies spoke on a panel addressing community concerns. Many residents spoke out saying they have no internet at all, while others only have dial-up.
The lack of service also prevents business growth, according to county officials. Banks says more vertical assets and extra towers are needed to add more subscribers. "We have fine real estate that can be used for many different business, economical development and we can't use it because the vendors that would use those areas can't access the rest of the world competitively like other vendors would," says Banks. He says schools also need more reliable internet for digital textbooks and online classrooms.
The broadband project team is collecting contact information from anyone who needs internet in the county.