The citizens of Shaftsbury believe having Internet service is important and want the Town to do something about. That is one of the results of the recently completed Internet coverage survey in Shaftsbury. We collect 260 responses online from March 1 to April 15, accounting for about 17% of households. A summary of all results collected is here.
Some key findings:
• 92% have Internet service at home
• 50% are not satisfied with their service (No Internet + Way Too Slow + Not Fast Enough)
• 78% support efforts by the Town to extend coverage (another 8% said Maybe)
The primary purpose of the survey was to find folks who have no Internet service so we can go about addressing the problem. We recognize that an online survey might not reach those with no Internet at home. This survey is the first step. The next step will be to go door-to-door to survey more homes in areas that appear to be under-served.
We have also completed a detailed data collection of cell phone coverage in Shaftsbury. Corey Chase at the VT Dept of Public Service (https://vtdigger.org/2018/11/23/vermont-official-chases-cellphone-signals-state/) recently drove major highways in the state collecting cell phone signal strength for six service providers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Sprint and VTel. We were able to borrow his equipment and extend his survey to all roads in Shaftsbury. Corey’s data is at https://vtpsd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=444a3d49c2374d509958f1c0e1d0d21b
He will soon be adding our detailed Shaftsbury data to this map. Many thanks to Corey for this important statewide effort and for sharing his time and equipment with Shaftsbury.
The Selectboard and the Planning Commission recognize the importance of broadband and cell coverage in the modern economy; and based on the survey results, so do the citizens of Shaftsbury. These surveys will help us address shortcomings in connectivity infrastructure in our town and will be incorporated into the Town Plan which is currently being rewritten by the Planning Commission.