HAYESVILLE, NC – Clay County conducted a recent study to gather input from residents on the quality of broadband internet service in the area.
“In view for the growing importance of this service, Clay County has formed a Broadband Committee made up of representatives from several community groups to access the availablity of internet service throughout the county,” Clay County Manager Mark Pullium explained in October, “As part of this effort, a survey of users is being conducted to determine the availability and the demand for service for households and other users. This information will assist the Broadband Committee in determining any service issues and possible ways to improve the availability of service.”
Of the 1,776 individuals participating in the poll, 82 percent revealed that they currently purchase internet service, while 18 percent responded that they did not. A total of 44 percent of the paying consumers receive service by telephone or DSL, 22 percent said wireless, 15 percent marked fiber optic, 14 percent chose satellite, and six percent via cable.
Of those who were not purchasing internet service, 39 percent said that it waas due to unavailability, 22 percent responded that it is too expensive, 8 percent answered that it was not needed, and 55 percent replied that it was because of other reasons.
In response to inquiring as to whether area internet service is adequate, 68 percent divulged that they find their service inadequate, with 32 percent stating satisfaction.
A question asking participants to rate reliability revealed that 16 percent found reliability to be poor, 14 percent said very poor, and 4 percent extremely poor. Ratings for speed found that 16 percent believed it is poor, 14 percent stated very poor, and 4 percent claimed internet speed is extremely poor. Furthermore, affordability was questioned with 17 percent revealing that the cost is poor, 8 percent checked very poor, and 8 percent marked extremely poor.
A final question asked whether poll participants would be interested in improved broadband internet service if it was available in the area. A total of 79 percent replied that they would be interested, with zero responding that they would not be interested.
The topic of broadband internet service appeared on the agenda at the Jan. 3, Clay County Commissioners’ meeting, and the possibility of the construction of a viper tower on Cherry Mountain is up for discussion.