WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - During the pandemic, many have been asked to work or learn remotely, making internet connection very important. But, in some rural areas of the North Country, internet can be hard to come by. The Development Authority of the North Country is trying to see who’s connected and who’s not.
Roxaina Hurlbert and her daughter-in-law, Lorian Andrews, both own property on East Road in the town of Denmark and they’ll tell you that internet service is non-existent there.
Hulbert says there is a stretch of about 4 miles on East Road where no one has broadband
So, for her three grandchildren, learning remotely is difficult.
“I think today they were kicked off at least three times in the last several hours where we would have to shut everything down and this is in the middle of meets with their teachers as well as trying to submit work and it’s very frustrating,” said Andrews.
Hurlbert says she has had multiple conversations with companies like Spectrum about trying to fix the problem, but those calls haven’t produced any results. That’s when she turned to Lewis County officials to try to find a solution.
“A majority of the calls that we’ve received from Lewis County residents have been from areas that they do not have any internet or they’re experiencing really slow speeds of internet that are now more well known,” said Casandra Buell, director of Lewis County Planning.
Buell says Lewis County has been working with the Development Authority of the North Country to distribute broadband surveys.
The survey helps to pinpoint where the problem areas are and, to date, 787 surveys in Lewis County have been submitted.
“It will really give us a complete picture to allow us to say, okay, this area is doing okay, this one really needs help, this area doesn’t have anything,” said Laurie Marr, DANC director of communications & public affairs.
Marr says the Lewis County survey will be open until the end of the month.
In Jefferson County, its survey was just released and it will run for the next several months, while St. Lawrence County will look to launch its survey in February.