Concerned residents are given opportunity to refute internet service providers claims

Washington County residents within the 22 townships have the opportunity this month to fact-check corporate internet service providers and the Federal Communications Commission by taking an internet speed test, or reporting lack of internet service.

By press time Tuesday, more than 500 new speed tests or calls of no service had been logged for the ongoing Washington County fact-checking mission targeting federal data of internet access.

Local residents have the opportunity to refute internet service providers’ reporting to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in what those providers say they supply by:

1. Taking the internet speed test on their home computer at www.seobc.us

2. If residents at home do not have internet, they’re asked to call: 740-538-0084 and leave a message with the following information:

¯ Identify your address.

¯ Say that you do not have internet access.

¯ Optional: Share your name if you would like to be contacted with more information about the Southeast Ohio Broadband Cooperative conducting the test with GEO Partners LLC through grassroots participation by Friday.

Last week, the county needed 2,118 more tests, specific to 19 out of the county’s 22 townships which still needed additional representation.

While Adams, Muskingum and Marietta townships were already considered statistically valid by their data points, two more townships showed up in force over the last five days.

“That’s incredible,” responded David Brown, a founding member of the cooperative, when he learned the updated numbers Tuesday showed that both Barlow Township and Wesley Township have achieved statistic validation.

Likewise, Glenn Fishbine, of GEO Partners LLC, noted three townships are on the cusp of success:

¯ Newport Township needs two more unique households to take the speed test or call and report no service to reach statistic validation.

“I can get two more in Newport, my brother lives in Newport,” said Brown. “Just get two of your neighbors, we’re almost there folks.”

¯ Decatur Township needs six more households.

¯ Fearing Township needs four more.

The following 14 townships are organized in ascending order of need for participation:

¯ Lawrence needs 15.

¯ Grandview needs 24.

¯ Independence needs 34.

¯ Liberty needs 40.

¯ Ludlow needs 40.

¯ Aurelius needs 56 more households.

¯ Palmer needs 114.

¯ Salem needs 121.

¯ Watertown 132.

¯ Waterford 158.

¯ Fairfield needs 167.

¯ Warren 192.

The southern-most portion of Washington County has seen the least participation.

¯ Dunham Township still needs 235 households to take the speed test, or call in lack of service.

¯ And while Belpre Township residents doubled their participation in less than a week, the township is still the least statistically represented township in the whole of Washington County.

The township still needs 264 households to participate to reach statistic validation.

Fishbine explained last week that statistic validation is needed to convince the FCC that the data internet service providers report as areas covered in Washington County with reliable service is not accurate.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.


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