St. John Valley

Northern Maine Development Commission, Axiom seek input on internet satisfaction

SJ. JOHN VALLEY — Residents and business owners in the St. John Valley are urged to complete online surveys to determine internet satisfaction.

Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) and Axiom are working on a project to improve broadband speeds, internet access and enhance digital inclusion.

NMDC was recently awarded a ConnectME grant to complete Phase I of the project, which calls for meeting with municipal and business leaders from the region, creating and distributing surveys to businesses and residents, analysis of survey results and sharing information gathered with ConnectME.

The ConnectME Authority is a public instrumentality of Maine state government whose mission is to facilitate the universal availability of broadband to all Maine households and businesses and help them understand the valuable role it can play in enriching their lives and helping their communities thrive.

“We held the meeting with businesses and municipal leaders a few weeks ago and gained valuable insight into the needs and wants, but more information is needed,” said Alain Ouellette, planning and development division director at NMDC. “The surveys are a valuable tool and what is gleaned from them will guide us onto Phase II of the project.”

Phase II will focus on an inventory of existing broadband infrastructure assets; a gap analysis to define additional broadband infrastructure to meet identified goals; and include potential network designs, cost estimates operating models and business models.

Throughout the project digital inclusion will also be stressed. Digital Inclusion is defined as the “ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies (ICTs). Digital inclusion encompasses not only access to the Internet but also the availability of hardware and software; relevant content and services; and training for the digital literacy skills required for effective use of information and communication technologies.

“Our success with expanding and improving the level and extent of internet broadband services rest with your participation,” added Ouellette.

The resident survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/nmlbcommunitysurvey.

The business survey is at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/nmlbbusinesssurvey.

Both surveys can also be accessed at www.nmdc.org.

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