The cell coverage on my road is no better now than it was 15 years ago. My neighbors will attest, too. Sadly, the same holds true throughout most of the county. Gloucester Point, the Rt. 17 Corridor, and the Courthouse area have good coverage. Whoopie. That's a very small geographic slice of this total county and it's population.
This situation is NOT acceptable in today's world, especially for what cell phone & internet services cost. Lack of sufficient, let alone adequate, access impedes ability to work, study, and have guaranteed emergency access. It also impacts people's decisions on moving here, or staying here. GC needs to get with the times.

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Mark Rakentine about 1 year ago

If you look through all of the topics here, there are already several on this very same issue. I personally have been contacting the BOS for years to no avail. The sad fact remains that Cox & Verizon are monopolies in the county and our representatives signed contracts with them that does not hold them accountable for serving the entire county....only the areas that these companies so choose or that deliver the best return on investment. OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT did this to the citizens of our county, and they obviously have no incentive to fix it. Would you believe that right here on this "Speak Up" forum, that I've had county representatives have the audacity to tell me that perhaps I should go out and research/create the infrastructure that would make the county more desirable for internet competition....can you believe that!!?? I have also had them comment to me that it was my fault because I chose to live here....I mean the nerve, they do work for us don't they? I mention this just to give you an idea of what we're dealing with. Unfortunately this problem is NOT going to be solved anytime soon in our county, and when you have a local government that does not work for you, you may need to consider moving. Sadly, that is what our family is planning to do.

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Susie Cambria about 1 year ago

Wondering if this might be helpful: http://www.cse.wustl.edu/~jain/cse574-08/ftp/rural/#1.2. Also, wondering if any VA colleges or universities would be interested in taking this on.... while there is not a lot of money to be made in serving rural Virginians from a service perspective, this would make a terrific academic exercise with the very real outcomes of greater civic engagement, better information knowledge and sharing capability, commerce, etc.

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Information Technology Department admin about 1 year ago

The results of the Broadband Survey were presented to the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, February 16, 2016. The board decided to move forward into looking at issuing an RFP for a broadband consultant to aid Gloucester in finding the best solution for our locality. The IT Department is currently looking at several grants to see if the cost for a consultant could be covered. If funding is not found through the grant process, it will be requested during the budget process for the upcoming FY17 budget year.

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Mary Wilkinson about 1 year ago

What really gets to me is that some of the teachers are insisting on using technology that requires internet service but yet not all students have access. Making it impossible for students to take those particular courses. Also hearing rumors that more teachers are going to start sending homework assignments to email addresses. Knowing that not all families in the county have internet access, I wonder how they will be able to get the assignments. Wish the schools would wait to start using the internet for classes and assignments until the county has reliable internet service!!!

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Russell Fletcher about 1 year ago

Cross posted on two topics - because the information is the same. In Jul 2014, I was in process of building a house. I contacted both Verizon and Cox about home service. Hampton and NN were getting the Fios upgrade and the G'town local Verizon's Mgr tried to get that equipment relocated to G'town but the VZ management in Richmond declined the request, because in their mind, DSL is dead. Contacted Cox cable. Initial cost estimate was ~$3.5K, with that expense being shared if my neighbor wanted to go in on it. After much haggling for almost a year on the cost/proposed route, etc, I am happy to say internet was installed two days ago. While in limbo, we used a 15 gig a month cell phone plan in lieu of all the liens that come with the satellite service (2 yr contract, data cap, weather, peak vs. non peak, no gaming, etc). We didn't think the installation would take as long as it did, however, now that it is over, we are now part of the informed Gloucester community. HOWEVER, I am a huge advocate for those who don't have affordable internet with, yes, unlimited service (or affordable large data packages). WHY? Everything is on the internet. You want a form from hospital, insurance agency, etc, go on line and print it or fill it out online. Gloucester High School teachers require homework to be emailed to them - yes, you read that right. But what if you don’t have internet or an email? The teacher’s response, you can come in early or stay late. REALLY? Now someone has to adjust their schedule to take you to school early or pick you up late all because someone doesn’t have internet and the requirement was levied against you as part of your grade. The School and extracurricular activities all have facebook pages to keep students and parents informed. The Sheriff has a facebook page, the county has this website. It baffles me that we say the children are the future, they need a new school, the teachers need more money, they need this, they need that, but there is no push in the county to get affordable, non-restrictive internet across the county. BTW, if you want a real assessment of the number of people who do or do not have internet access, do a face to face survey on a Saturday at strategic locations across the county (Wawa, Walmart, the Wellness center, Raceway at the point, post offices, etc.). The beehive is not the first place to base a decision off of.

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Zac Stein about 1 year ago

To be fair it wasn't just the beehive. Surveys were also mailed to county residents

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Mark Rakentine about 1 year ago

Zac Stein....We only received the survey in the Beehive, as did my 25 neighbors who also can't get internet....and were shocked when I told them at our neighborhood meeting that there actually was a survey. They had long since thrown away their Beehives....

So if my small neighborhood was not part of this "dedicated mailing", just imagine how many thousands of residents never saw or even knew about this survey. Pretty convenient for county officials who are not really looking to solve the problem. That "survey" was "kicking the can down the road" politics at its finest!

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Mark Rakentine about 1 year ago

Russell Fletcher, the reason why there would be no face to face surveys done is because then, the county would have to actually address the issue....which after all of this time is clear they do not want to do. This has been an issue for over a decade now, if it was important to the local government the problem would have already been solved....just like it has been in other rural counties.

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Kenny Hogge Sr about 1 year ago

There are a lot of comments about the lack of internet service, but there seem to be no suggestions on how to make improvements or what our local government is supposed to do about it. The local tax base certainly cannot afford to make financial contributions to improve internet access when the local government is spending so much money to rent libraries instead of owning them ($200,000 annual waste), continuing to fund a Community Education Department instead of returning all functions back to the school system, social services, County administration, human resources, information technology and the various non-profit organizations the department supports ($350,000 annual waste), continuing to avoid consolidating redundant County government and school system departments (overs $750,000 annual waste), etc.

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Mark Rakentine about 1 year ago

Our local government is the entity that signed deals with Verizon & Cox, deals that allow them to not service the entire county....they only have to serve the areas that they choose. This issue was created with those agreements....thanks to our local government. So explain to me how that translates to all of us underserviced taxpayers needing to "make suggestions" on how to fix this to our local government? They created this issue, and have let it fester for over a decade, shouldn't they fix it? Here's a suggestion, have our representatives talk to the rural counties all around us, who have already solved this internet problem that Gloucester has deemed insurmountable.

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Zac Stein about 1 year ago

Face to face surveys? Do you know how much money it would cost to do that?

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Mark Rakentine about 1 year ago

Zac, From his post, what Russell really meant here was having the BOS actually spend some time around the County one weekend, at Walmart, Wawa, at the GYB field etc, talking to the taxpayers, just to get a real feel for how bad the issue really is....as it is clear that our BOS is out of touch with the realities of this county. I would agree that going house to house is not feasible, but it is also not what Russell suggested.

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Zac Stein about 1 year ago

I don't disagree that the BOS needs to be put on notice, look at the crap they pulled with the school board to get people out of there they didn't like. I love Gloucester but there is too much infighting with the local government here and they are all very comfortable and have a good ol boy like attitude

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Kenny Hogge Sr about 1 year ago

After considerable research and numerous conversations; I believe our local government should seriously consider investing in county wide WiFi and let Cox take the hit. The County could likely charge a user fee that is half or lower than what Cox charges and likely provide free access to those in need and in public areas. Cox would suffer a hard hit, but they have not reinvested any of the money back in Gloucester that they have made in Gloucester for years. There are ways to get it done.

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Zac Stein about 1 year ago

That depends on how the wifi is brought into the home. There are many different ways to do it from towers that bring it in like cell phone data to DSL to telephone lines who bring it in via broadband. The way cox does it through the cable lines is the fastest and most reliable. All depends on what each individual's needs are and what they are planning to do with the internet.

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