The New River Valley Regional Commission began seeking feedback on current broadband access from residents of Blacksburg, Christiansburg and greater Montgomery County back in October 2016. Results were shared with local leaders in March and again this week with internet service providers and local officials.
Kevin Byrd, executive director of the NRVRC, led the presentation. While commission members did say that much of the feedback they received was expected, there is also great value in seeing developing trends. One such trend is the growing number of people working from home, whether full-time or logging time outside the office after hours. Of course, primary usage of residential internet service remains email, shopping, news, music and streaming video.
Survey respondents were asked about their satisfaction with factors such as speed, reliability, and customer service. Each area saw strengths and weaknesses with the service offerings available to them. Christiansburg residents were mostly pleased with the level of support and service they receive from providers, but not as much with the speed and reliability. In Blacksburg, it was just the opposite. Speed and reliability are satisfactory while customer service is not. County residents, most of whom are out of range of the larger providers in both towns, are not satisfied with any aspect of the services they use.
It’s clear that residents want more options, but they do not want their local government providing internet as a utility. When the floor was turned over to providers to ask questions the topic naturally turned to how we can best work with local officials to increase broadband access and bring competition to the market.
At GoGig, we’re already working with local officials in Blacksburg and partnering with local businesses to expand our coverage of fiber-based, advanced wireless service. We will continue to look for more opportunities to grow into other areas at the same time. Demand for broadband access is only going to increase, and as access grows capacity needs to grow, too.
We are adding new businesses as clients every month, and we will soon be adding residential service. If you’re interested in talking more with us about service for your business or home, please complete our availability survey.
If you’re interested in reviewing results of the survey for yourself, they can be found on the New River Valley Regional Commission’s website at www.nrvrc.org.