The Belfast Broadband Committee is asking people who live and/or work in Belfast to fill out a brief survey regarding internet service, which will help the City of Belfast in its current broadband internet planning efforts.
In 2017, the City of Belfast was selected by the ConnectME Authority to receive a $15,000 Community Broadband Planning Grant, and the City hired Axiom Technologies as a consultant to assist with the implementation of that planning grant. Part of those grant funds, along with additional funds from the City of Belfast, are being used to implement, promote, and analyze a survey, one which will help the City of Belfast understand concerns regarding internet service, the costs of current internet service, where service gaps may be present, and what needs exist regarding future connectivity.
According to Belfast Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge, “The Mayor and the City Council have previously recognized that the accessibility (or lack thereof) of broadband internet is a significant factor for both community development and for business development. These surveys are a crucial step in gathering the critical information that the City of Belfast needs to be able to make informed plans that will address accessibility to broadband internet throughout the community.”
There are two different types of surveys, both of which are available online at www.cityofbelfast.org/broadband - 1) a Belfast Community Internet Survey (for those who live in Belfast or who have a home-based business in Belfast); and 2) a Belfast Business Internet and Workforce Needs Survey (for those who work at a location in Belfast that is used exclusively for business). (For those whom both of those situations apply, the City of Belfast Broadband Committee is encouraging those people to complete and return one of each type of survey.)
For those who are unable to access or to fill out a survey online, they can also pick up and return a print version of the survey, at either the Office of the City Manager at Belfast City Hall (131 Church Street, Belfast), or at the Belfast Free Library (106 High Street, Belfast), during each facility's normal business hours. The City of Belfast is asking that surveys (whether online or print version) be completed and returned by Monday, June 4th, 2018. Any questions or concerns regarding the survey should be directed to the City of Belfast Broadband Committee via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (207) 338-3370, extension 116.
The ConnectME Authority (www.maine.gov/connectme) is a public instrumentality of Maine state government whose mission is to facilitate the universal availability of broadband to all Maine households and businesses and help them understand the valuable role it can play in enriching their lives and helping their communities thrive. The Authority’s duties include establishing criteria defining unserved and underserved areas, promoting the use of broadband service, supporting broadband investment, facilitating state support of deployment of broadband infrastructure, collecting and disseminating information, and administering funds.
Axiom Technologies (www.connectwithaxiom.com) is an internet service provider based in Machias, Maine. Axiom’s mission is to deliver strategic and customized rural broadband deployment solutions to remote communities everywhere.