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Survey: Fast, reliable internet access lacking in SW Oregon

March 30, 2022 GMT

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A survey conducted for commissioners in southwest Oregon’s Jackson and Josephine counties has found internet access is so bad that 22% of respondents said they’ve considered moving.

The Grants Pass Courier reports that’s one of several findings of a survey and study commissioned last summer in hopes it would help prompt federal investments into internet access in the region.

Ken Demlow of HR Green, an engineering consultant based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said internet availability is “more and more” becoming a consideration when it comes to home buying and selling.

Demlow and his colleagues, including senior planner Cody Miller, told commissioners that internet connections were slow throughout the region.

“The whole of these counties are unserved and underserved,” Miller said. “There’s serious gaps even in municipal areas.”

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Asked how well their internet connections served their needs for work, health care, jobs, school and quality of life, 51% of respondents said “bare minimum” and 18% said “not at all.”

About a third of respondents said they were very dissatisfied with their internet service, and another third was dissatisfied. Additionally, about 15% of respondents said they had daily outages of an hour or more.

Josephine County hired HR Green at a cost of $19,470, according to a contract between the parties. Jackson County paid a similar amount, according to Commissioner Darin Fowler. The survey garnered 3,345 responses.