If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that connectivity is important. Gila County officials said there is a need, now more than ever, for an affordable, accessible high-speed broadband network.

To understand what is available and the changes needed for a new broadband network, Connect Gila County is asking for input from residents. Take a quick survey at www.connectgilacounty.com to weigh in.

The county would like to:

• Make internet access affordable for all residents and businesses

• Significantly increase the speed and reliability (eliminate blackouts) of internet access

• Increase competition and give residents multiple options for internet service providers

• Build a state-of-the-art network that will improve economic development and foster innovation

• Leverage the network to improve services provided countywide, including public safety, transportation, health care, education, emergency communications and new services that will become possible with advanced network infrastructure

Gila County residents have been paying too much for mediocre access to the internet, and the Connect Gila County seeks to maximize value and lower costs through competition, according to a press release.

This public infrastructure will be open to any provider that seeks to offer services to the area.

Connect Gila County has set a goal of 700 survey responses so it can adequately assess local needs. So far, there have been almost 200 responses. After you have responded to the survey, encourage your family, friends and co-workers to take the survey as well.

Please visit www.connectgilacounty.com to learn more and take the survey.

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