Nationwide, nearly 25 percent of rural Americans do not have access to high-speed internet, according to 2018 data from Pew Research Center. In Buncombe County, 46 percent of people say their internet connection isn’t sufficient or reliable to meet their needs, according to an ongoing survey. However, a new initiative aims to expand internet access and reliability countywide.
Locally, a deficiency of dependable internet translates to serious issues and impediments for students, business owners, and residents at-large. Here’s what some survey respondents say about the importance of broadband access:
- “My husband operates his business from our home, and I work remotely for a design agency in Atlanta. The internet is an essential tool for our livelihood.”
- “My daughter would be able to complete her schoolwork at home and not have to rely on outside computer access or have to do research on her cell phone.”
- “I would be able to continue my healthcare education without having to drive in order to have video conferences and database access for research.”
Buncombe County is partnering with Land of Sky to assess broadband access and infrastructure. The initial step of this undertaking is surveying where such efforts will yield the highest results. If you would like to see improved internet access and more reliable connections, please consider taking and sharing our brief survey that will lay the groundwork for the Buncombe Broadband Project.
You can take the survey online here. We’ve also made paper surveys available to our community members without reliable internet. You can find and return one of those at the following locations:
- All County Library branches will have the surveys preloaded on their computers. Please see staff for any questions or help
- HHS campus: 40 Coxe Ave., Asheville, 28801
- WIC west: 339 Leicester Highway, Suite 120, Asheville, 28806
- HHS administration building: 35 Woodfin St., Asheville, 28801
We will be accepting survey responses through Friday, May 31. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact: