Fast, Reliable Internet Access Lacks in Southwest Oregon, Study Shows

A survey of commissioners in Southwest Oregon’s Jackson and Josephine counties shows that Internet access is so poor that 22% of respondents said they want to move.

The Grants Pass Courier reports that this is one of several findings from a survey and study conducted last summer in the hopes that it would boost federal investment in Internet access in the region.

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

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

“All of these counties are underserved and undervalued,” Miller said. “Even in municipal areas, there are serious gaps.”

When asked how well their internet connections meet their work, health care, job, school and quality of life needs, 51% of respondents answered “absolutely minimal” and 18% answered “not at all”.

About a third of the respondents said they were very dissatisfied with their internet service and a further third were dissatisfied. In addition, about 15% of respondents said they had a daily outage of an hour or more.

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

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