Broadband survey aims to measure availability

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Internet service coverage and competition in the Columbia area is not strong compared with other North Carolina cities, reports.

One fourth of the population have access to one or fewer options for true broadband Internet services.

Columbia’s degree of connectivity is 588th out of 686 communities in the state.

In Tyrrell County, approximately 600 people do not have access to 25 Mbps wired broadband.

To verify these data, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) Tracy Doaks is urging the public to participate in a Broadband Survey launched July 15.

“Reliable internet access is crucial for getting North Carolina back on its feet so that students can learn, teachers can teach, businesses can grow and communities can connect,” said Secretary Doaks. “As communities begin to survey their citizens, we will gain a better understanding of North Carolina’s internet speeds and needs, which are critical for building strategies to achieve affordable broadband access for all.”

The five-minute survey can be taken online for users with internet access and by phone for users without service, and will be available in both English and Spanish.

“Every community has different challenges and unique needs,” added Doaks. “Without the data to understand what those are, designing strategies and implementing plans to expand affordable broadband access will always be a challenge.”

Survey information gathered will be used to provide context to the state’s broadband picture, guiding funding opportunities through North Carolina’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant program, informing research and policy recommendations, and supporting strategic targeting of additional funding channels.

To access the online survey, visit:

Residents without internet service, but with phones capable of text messaging, can text “internet” to 919-750-0553. Standard text messaging rates will apply.

Residents with land lines or cell phones that do not have texting capability, may call 919-750-0553. The interactive voice response system will guide them through a series of short questions to obtain their address and register it in the database as having no internet capability.