Take the sur­vey

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE -

Rap­pa­han­nock County needs your par­tic­i­pa­tion in a sur­vey iden­ti­fy­ing op­tions to im­prove broad­band in un­der­served ar­eas of Rap­pa­han­nock County. The up­com­ing needs as­sess­ment sur­vey will be launched Sept. 15, help­ing the county iden­tify spe­cific ar­eas of need and pro­vide im­por­tant data to be shared with telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pa­nies.

John Lesin­ski, chair of the county’s broad­band com­mit­tee, says while parts of Rap­pa­han­nock have broad­band, many cit­i­zens have no ser­vice or else slow, un­re­li­able, and in­ad­e­quate re­cep­tion to meet ba­sic needs. Iron­i­cally, the things that draw peo­ple to Rap­pa­han­nock — rolling hills, moun­tain vis­tas, bu­colic soli­tude — are the same things that make it dif­fi­cult to get re­li­able In­ter­net.

Need­less to say, there are many ben­e­fits to In­ter­net ac­cess: safety, eco­nomic, and ed­u­ca­tional, to name a few. Wash­ing­ton res­i­dent Ashleigh Can­non Sharp, for ex­am­ple, told the com­mit­tee she re­cently dis­cov­ered the ben­e­fits of on­line health ser­vices. Af­ter notic­ing a cir­cu­lar rash on her leg, she took to the In­ter­net and an on­line med­i­cal site, where she quickly met with a qual­i­fied doc­tor us­ing video chat. The ser­vice took her in­sur­ance and the doc­tor was able to pre­scribe med­i­ca­tion for Lyme dis­ease.

“This on­line ser­vice al­lowed me to see a doc­tor with­out hav­ing to leave my busi­ness, find child­care for my daugh­ter, and drive 30 miles. All res­i­dents can ben­e­fit from this same easy and im­me­di­ate ac­cess to health­care,” Can­non Sharp notes.

Be­gin­ning Sept. 15, res­i­dents can ac­cess the sur­vey on­line at www. Rap­pBroad­band.org or ob­tain a pa­per copy at the county li­brary, schools, ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices, and many lo­cal busi­nesses. The sur­vey can also be com­pleted at one of two up­com­ing town hall meet­ings to be held in Septem­ber, time and date forth­com­ing.

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