The Susquehanna County Commissioners closed out 2022 by asking residents with no or slow internet service to report their information challenging the FCC National Broadband Map. The map shows that Susquehanna County is well-covered with highspeed internet service – a finding the commissioners do not believe is accurate.
The FCC Map will determine how much of the $42.45 billion available from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program will come to the state. The deadline to file a challenge is Jan. 13.
Commissioner Alan Hall said, “This whole thing is going to trigger the funding that’s going to come from federal government to fix broadband in our county. We need every resident to get on the horn, get on the webpage (www.susqco.com) and get this done and file so we can get those reports going.”
“We know the map presented is not correct,” said Commissioner Judy Herschel.
Hall said, “The biggest impact we can ever get is when residents themselves (report it) – when all the residents start filing and saying, ‘I’ve got poor speeds or not getting uploads or downloads’ or ‘I don’t have service at all.’”
For those with limited or no service at their homes, the challenge form on the county website can be accessed on a mobile phone or on a computer at any of the county library locations.
The commissioners also directed residents to the county website’s updated “Resources” section listed under the Community Information header, with Herschel noting that calling 2-1-1 for a non-emergency is a good starting point for anyone looking for any health and human service assistance.
Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold also noted the Susquehanna County Recovery Alliance billboards posted in areas throughout the county. The next billboard will highlight the 2-1-1 service, she said.
Herschel said, “We have the resources, we just need to get people to know about them.”
In the meeting, the commissioners approved over $1 million in upgrades for the 911/Public Safety department in four separate motions.
Hall said, “The reason we are pushing them through the end of this month is that we were able to get some huge savings.” He said pricing would be increasing by 20 percent on those items and – with some additional discounts – the county was able to save about $450,000.
*$556,270.80 to update radios and expand radio devices for fire, police and operations radios at all tower locations;
*$323,399.03 to expand current radio devices at the new tower locations;
*$398,557.40 for two additional dispatch consoles, computers and radios with upgrades to the current E-911 system photo, which will create a back-up 911 center;
*$89.389.25 to update EMA radio devices at the Elk South and Montrose tower locations, and add EMA radio at the Rush tower.