Augusta County broadband issues highlighted by COVID-19 pandemic

Augusta County broadband issues highlighted by COVID-19 pandemic

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A member of Augusta County’s Broadband Committee, David Henderson, said the COVID-19 pandemic has focused a laser light on internet needs exacerbating a long-existing problem.

Two committee members updated the Augusta County Board of Supervisors Wednesday night during a regularly scheduled meeting.

Henderson said broadband access is impacting telehealth, telecommuting, and online learning.

Broadband Committee Chairman JR Lawhorne said nearly 50% of Augusta County citizens are dissatisfied with their broadband, according to a survey.

The county’s low density makes it more expensive to build networks, according to Lawhorne, and that makes it less enticing to providers.

“If you live in Augusta County and you’re one of the 40% of our parcels or our residents that would rather live on two acres or more then you probably have this problem and it’s not gonna get better and it’s not gonna be inexpensive to solve,” Lawhorne said.

“We’ve got to do something,” Augusta County Board of Supervisor Vice-Chair, Pam Carter, said. “The citizens, we’re doing a disservice to our citizens of this county by not having a bigger broadband base.”

The Broadband Committee asked county leaders for their continued support in matching grant fund applications.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.