CRAWFORD COUNTY - The internet survey is being re-mailed to all Crawford County residents that have not yet completed and returned it. The survey was originally mailed to 1,157 randomly selected residents the first week of March. Over 800 of the randomly selected residents have not yet completed the survey.
This second, and final, survey mailing will arrive in an envelope with a label reading ‘RURAL CRAWFORD COUNTY INTERNET/BROADBAND SURVEY.’
The survey was commissioned by the 3C Co-op (Crawford County Communications Cooperative) and is being conducted by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls’ Survey Research Center. Its purpose is to assess residents’ needs and interest in having improved internet speed and access.
The 3C Co-op intends to build the fiber optic infrastructure throughout the un-served and underserved portions of the County. This would provide Fiber To The Home (FTTH) internet service for all residents, farms and businesses in its service area.
The results of the survey determine the percentage of residents with “expressed interest” in becoming members of 3C Co-op and subscribing to its Fiber To The Home services.
This statistical analysis is a mandatory requirement, essential for obtaining the funding from the USDA’s Rural Utility Service (RUS) that is needed to build 3C Co-op’s FTTH infrastructure.
The 3C Co-op and its infrastructure would be owned by the co-op’s members and would provide a minimum speed of 25 mgb download and 25 mgb upload, with available speeds up to 1 Gigabit down and up. Television, entertainment and telephone services would be available, allowing members to keep their current phone number.
“I was not one of the randomly selected residents that received the survey,” said Harriet Behar, a 3C Board member. “I’ve talked to many neighbors who were disappointed that they did not get to make their voices heard. If you were one of the ‘lucky few’ that were selected, but have not yet completed the survey, PLEASE watch for it in your mail this week, and take the time to complete the survey right away! Your voice really counts, and is essential to our obtaining funding from RUS.”
The 3C Board Chairperson, Jay McCloskey, explained more of the survey details.
“Approximately 30 percent of locations in the county with inadequate internet access were in the randomly selected group,” McCloskey said. “Once UW has received the survey responses required to provide statistically accurate data, an ‘open access’ online survey will be available for all other residents to take.”
Behar emphasized the importance of the survey.
“If we don't have the open-access survey, there will be a mutiny to deal with, there are many people that want to be heard!” Behar said.
“That’s the reason we paid an extra $500 to UW to get the open-access survey,” McCloskey said.
The 3C Board Chairperson also noted that those people receiving the survey in this week’s mail can complete the survey online, using the ‘tinyurl’ that will be printed on the survey.
“Completing the survey online saves 3C Co-op $3 per response,” McCloskey said. “If this is inconvenient or you don’t have sufficient internet access to complete the survey online, PLEASE complete the paper survey and return it in the postage-paid, self-addressed envelope!”
The 3C’s website, www.3C.Coopwill provide information and updates about 3C’s progress and the FTTH project, with the opportunity for people to correspond via the website’s ‘Blog.’ Access to the open-access survey will be announced on the website as soon as it becomes available, as well as in this newspaper.Email Info@3C.Coop for information about how you can contribute to the success of this project, or call 608-735-4322 (608-735-4 3C Co-op).