Survey helping to expand broadband in Van Buren County

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Market Van Buren is working with Van Buren County to increase the availability of high-speed Internet for residents. Zack Morris of Market Van Buren tells us the county has hired DCS Technology to do a parcel-by-parcel survey across the county to determine precisely where there is broadband and where there isn’t. This led to a few surprises.

“We had 10,000 plots, or about 25% of the county’s occupied plots, that are unserved,” Morris said. “Interestingly enough, most of these federal programs will reach about 3,900 of those plots, which means about 6,000 of those plots are still unserved even after getting some of that federal funding. So it’s important that we know that the census tracts are inaccurate, that we have these unserved parcels. »

Morris says documenting the information will help the county seek grants and other forms of funding to roll out more broadband. He says the pandemic has demonstrated that the internet is essential and, from an economic development perspective, broadband makes the region more attractive for businesses and workers. With the survey data, Market Van Buren will work with suppliers and local governments to help them further expand the utility.

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