The Hourglass Effect
Whether it’s an hourglass, a slow spinning circle or a “dot, dot, dot” that appears on your screen they all represent the same thing… slow internet connectivity. For the business community, the hourglass symbol and its counterparts have an adverse and costly effect. Slow and unreliable internet is not only frustrating and time consuming, it can result in lost revenue and added expense. With so much talk of high speed internet availability and the impending 5G network, it’s hard to believe, but reliable internet connectivity and access to broadband continues to be a problem for many regions in the U.S.
Business retention and expansion interviews identified that businesses in the Greater Newport region are being affected by slow internets speeds and reliability. Additionally, according to broadbandnow.com Rhode Island has one of the fastest internet and download speeds in the country, but the Greater Newport region does not have the same speed. The average download speeds in Newport and Bristol counties are 16.2% slower than other areas of the state, but 1.8% higher than the national average.
Although, the region is faster than the national average there is room for improvement.
Greater Newport not only attracts millions of tourists annually driving the hospitality industry, but is also home to the defense industry, marine trades and composites manufacturing. With these industries and so many other promising businesses located in the region, it is our collective responsibility to work together to facilitate change and enhance our local economy. Greater Newport businesses deserve to access the services available to other areas of the state. Throughout 2019 Connect Greater Newport will work to reduce “the hourglass effect” by revisiting the barriers to wide-span broadband, assessing the area’s needs and developing an intervention plan to increase access.
Connect Greater Newport's Broadband Improvement Project
Over the next 12 months Connect Greater Newport will facilitate a plan to address regional broadband limitations by completing the following:
- Develop a Broadband Advisory Committee
- Complete an analysis of existing conditions
- Administer a broadband needs survey
- Engage current broadband carriers, as well as, state and federal resources
- Profile other communities with successful models
- Analyze results for public distribution
- Brief decision makers on the findings
- Develop an action plan that promotes new opportunities, addresses issues,
identifies solutions and seeks to resolve the real or perceived limitations.
This plan cannot be achieved without the support of the local community.
A broadband needs survey will be available on January 14, 2019. Please check back to complete this survey and provide valuable feedback regarding your experience.
Interested in joining the Connect Greater Newport Broadband Committee? Contact Ashley Medeiros at 401.855.2214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.