Goochland County continues to move forward on a bold initiative unveiled last September to bring expanded access to Broadband internet services to unserved areas of the county.
On Jan. 7, Goochland Administrative Services Manager Paul Drumwright updated county supervisors on the progress made so far on the county’s 10 Steps to Broadband initiative, including a go-live date for six new area “hotspots” for residents to use.
Those locations, which will be available beginning Feb. 4, will include all six county fire stations and the county administration building. Drumwright noted that the county will also be making space available within the administration building for residents to come and use their devices to access high speed internet.
“This is not meant to be a final solution,” Drumwright insisted, but rather a temporary fix to help residents as the county works on the next phase of the project, which is expected to include more hot spots at Reynolds Community College, the Goochland Public Library, the Central High School complex, and all of the county public schools.
Local businesses are also being encouraged by the county to consider serving as hot spots, and Drumwright said those that do will be included on a map handed out to residents.
A long-time complaint of those living in the county’s more rural areas, lack of high speed internet access was one of the most often-heard issues raised during the run-up to last year’s county-wide election.
For years, residents say,, lack of connectivity has had a negative impact on everything from economic growth to educational achievement.
County leaders have repeatedly acknowledged the problem and pledged to resolve the issue, but progress has traditionally been slow. September’s announcement, which laid out several clear directives and goals, came as welcome news to many.
In addition to the news of the new hot spots, Drumwright reminded those in attendance about a form on the county’s website that residents can use to share their concerns about high speed internet access, including where they need it and what obstacles they have faced in trying to secure it.
Those without any access to internet are encouraged to call the county at (804) 556-5811 and report their concerns that way.