What is broadband?Broadband connects people to the internet through a high-speed transmission link from a home, business or school. The speed that data moves over a network connection is determined by bandwidth. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defined broadband as a speed of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. Anyone can test the speed of their internet connection by using an Internet Speed Test.
Why is Watauga County doing a survey of broadband needs?This survey is a first step in identifying the current state of broadband access and demand in Watauga County. We want to work with internet service providers to ensure that broadband is available to all members of our community. Our County recognizes that broadband is increasingly vital for benefits in:
One research study found that high levels of broadband adoption in rural areas is associated with income growth and declining unemployment. 
What will happen with the results of the survey?
With help from the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office, we will share the survey results at a meeting with internet service providers and hope that this spurs interest in increasing broadband access and affordability in Watauga County.
 Broadband's contribution to economic growth in rural areas: Moving towards a causal relationship, Telecommunications Policy 38 (2014) 1011-1023. URL: www.elsevier.com/locate/telpol
Back to the Survey