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Survey to improve internet service in Indian River County

Posted at 1:42 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 13:42:11-04

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — Infrastructure has been a big buzzword in Washington D.C., but it also plays a key role on the local level.

In Indian River County, there's an effort to better understand, and improve, community connections.

Computers sit at the ready inside the Gifford Youth Achievement Center.

With school back in session, dozens of students will spend their afternoons here getting homework done.

“Any educational activities that require them to get on the computers, we have the ability to have them log on and do their research and complete those activities," said GYAC Executive Director Angelia Perry.

So a good wi-fi connection is key.

“A computer without access to Wi-FI is an upscale typewriter," adds Perry.

Inside the GYAC, there’s also a branch of the county library with computer access for adults in the neighborhood so they can also take advantage of high speed wi-fi.

Indian River County Commissioner Susan Adams says parts of the county have no connectivity at all. She has spearheaded a survey to find out how well the county is connected.

“Where there might be speed issues, where there might be bandwidth issues, where there might be pockets of need where there is no service whatsoever," said Adams.

The commissioner says even in parts of downtown Vero Beach, companies don’t have enough bandwidth to upgrade their systems.

“Infrastructure is what the county does. That is what our role is so our communities can be sustainable. It’s also our seniors trying to connect with their teladocs and their telemedicine. It’s also our agribusinesses and our rural businesses trying to expand in a global market, you really have to have great connectivity," added Adams.

The survey will be available online through September at https://ircgov.com/.

No internet? Paper surveys can also be picked up at the Administration Complex.

Next year, the county will put together a new broadband plan.