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More on broadband Internet in Stokes [updated]

In the Oct. 8 minutes of the Stokes County commissioners meeting (available online) Mike Rothstein of Sandy Ridge pleaded for the need for broadband Internet access in rural parts of Stokes where broadband is not yet available. This prompted me to email the Stokes commissioners and the county manager. Here’s my email:

Dear Commissioners,

I took note of this paragraph in the online minutes of the Oct. 8 meeting:

“Mr. Rothstein spoke to the Board regarding the need for high-speed connectivity in their community in Stokes County, which has 4-5 businesses that are starting up and need high speed internet. Mr. Rothstein presented a petition with 40 signatures that need and want high-speed internet services. Mr. Rothstein noted that only 68.07 percent of homes in Stokes County have the ability to access high speed internet, which places Stokes County in the lowest quartile of connectivity in the State. Mr. Rothstein urged Commissioners to continue to work for high speed internet for the citizens of Stokes County and to help bring in economic development into the County.”

Late last year, the board approved a new 199-foot tower for Alltel on Mission Road. I believe this tower is now in service for ordinary cell phone service. Alltel, however, is capable of providing broadband Internet access through this tower using EVDO technology. This type of access already is available from Alltel in many parts of North Carolina. It is my understanding, from informal communication with people close to Alltel, that Alltel has not yet made a decision when it will offer this service in Stokes. Perhaps the commissioners could encourage Alltel to accelerate this type of service? EVDO broadband access through existing towers is probably one of the most efficient and least expensive ways of delivering broadband access to rural areas such as my property on Wells Creek Road. I believe it would be very helpful if the commissioners would communicate with Alltel and encourage them to offer this service as soon as possible. I believe the petition submitted by Mr. Rothstein confirms that Alltel would find many customers.

Best regards,
David Dalton

Update: Below is the response to my email from Jimmy Walker, vice chairman of the board of commissioners:

Dear Mr. Dalton

Thanks for this email, too.

I just read it and found the information you provided to be both interesting and useful. High speed internet is also a component of economic development for our county.

I am following up on your email by forwarding it to the proper people in our county who can hopefully move forward with this information.

Thanks again.

Jimmy Walker

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