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High-Speed Internet Access Survey

Access to high-speed Internet service is essential for residents and businesses, but a lack of access to this service has been a national issue for years.  The pandemic has only highlighted the “digital divide” in our community.  Dutchess County seeks to eliminate that divide and enable accessible high-speed Internet service for all residents and organizations within the County.

What can you do?  Dutchess County is working with NYSTEC, an independent technology firm, to address service gaps and we need your help. We are asking residents and representatives of businesses, non-profits, and other organizations to complete a quick survey about the Internet access used at your home or business.  The information you provide will help us identify underserved and unserved areas in the County and remove the barriers that are preventing access to high-speed Internet services.

Help us spread the word:

 

Take the Survey

 

 

Education

The term high-speed Internet commonly refers to Internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access.

High-speed internet includes several transmission technologies:

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): 
DSL is a wired transmission technology that transmits data faster over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses.    

Cable Modem:
Cable modem service enables cable operators (like Spectrum or Optimum) to provide high-speed Internet access using the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to your TV set. 

Fiber:
Fiber optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibers with the diameter of a human hair. Fiber speeds far exceed current DSL or cable modem speeds.

Wireless:
Wireless technologies use a radio link and longer-range directional equipment, and can provide high-speed Internet service in remote or sparsely populated areas where DSL or cable modem service would be costly to provide

Satellite:
Like wireless, satellites provide high-speed Internet access for remote or sparsely populated areas utilizing the links from satellites in orbit. Speeds are typically slower than DSL and Cable, but much faster than dial-up.

Broadband over Powerline (BPL):
BPL is the delivery of high-speed Internet access over the existing low- and medium-voltage electric power distribution network, with speeds comparable to DSL and cable modems. BPL can be provided to homes using existing electrical connections.

A speed test is typically performed by visiting a site such as SpeedTest.net that will automatically test the upload and download speeds of the internet service the device is connected to. 

This survey includes a speed test. Within the survey, click on “Test My Internet,” and the test website will open in a separate window or tab. Click the “GO” button and wait for the test to be completed on your internet connection. Please then return to the survey to record your upload and download speeds in the survey. 

Broadband technology has revolutionized the way services are provided and business is conducted. By improving communication and the flow of information, broadband enhances efficiency, thus, enabling significant advances in New York’s ability to compete in the global economy. This facilitates job creation, decreases healthcare costs, expands consumer choice, and improves competition.

High-speed Internet's utility touches all aspects of residential and commercial life:

  • Economic Development: High-speed Internet access enables local communities develop, attract, and expand job-creating businesses and institutions. It also improves the productivity and profitability of businesses and allows them to compete in local, national and global markets.
     
  • Education: As many schools are adapting to a virtual and in-person split instruction paradigm, having a fast and reliable high-speed internet connection is crucial to effective teaching. High-speed Internet access also opens access to an array of resources, including text-based materials, photos, videos, music, animations, interactive lessons and oral history collections.
     
  • Environmental Sustainability: High-speed Internet access enables all points of the energy market, including buildings and utilities built on smart grids, to communicate with each other. This allows real-time information and assessments that could lead to greater efficiencies in energy consumption. 
     
  • Healthcare: High-speed Internet access makes remote access to clinical services possible for patients and provides significantly improved, cost-effective access to quality health care. It also allows physicians to monitor their patients through innovative home health devices and telehealth services, avoiding expensive house calls and giving patients real-time feedback.
     
  • Government:  High-speed Internet access helps government agencies improve quality, lower costs and increase transparency through streamlined operational processes and comprehensive communications channels with local residents. 
     
  • Public Safety:  High-speed Internet access is indispensable to the interoperability of police, fire, health and other government entities through rapid disaster response systems, effective early warning and public alert systems, disaster preparation programs, remote security monitoring and backup systems for public safety communications networks.
     
  • Urban Revitalization:  High-speed Internet access enables technologies that can alleviate congestion, enhance road safety, and reduce the environmental impact of transportation. It can play a significant role in revitalizing previously blighted urban communities. Fully wired communities in reinvigorated neighborhoods can provide residents with opportunities to take career and skill development classes at community centers. 
     
  • Workforce Development:  High-speed Internet access enabled job-training can customize training so it reaches the broadest group of people at a lower cost and with greater flexibility than the traditional model of training classes.  High-speed Internet access enables a workforce system to provide individuals with training and career help in a more flexible and cost-effective manner.

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