WestCOG Wants to Hear About Broadband

As part of a regional broadband study, WestCOG — the Western Connecticut Council of Governments — would like to hear about your internet use, how much it costs you, and your level of satisfaction.

To help provide insight, you can take a survey that has nine questions and takes about three minutes to complete.

The survey asks how you currently access the internet, what you use it for, and how you rate your provider’s reliability, speed, and cost.

WestCOG provides transportation, environmental, economic, and other planning services to 18 municipalities in western Connecticut. (More information about the agency appears at the end of this article.)

The project

The goal of the project is to explore options and develop a feasibility study of how cities and towns in the region may be able to provide a fiberoptic network that would increase speed and reliability, reduce costs to consumers and businesses, increase competition, improve delivery of municipal services, and meet future needs.

Certain principles apply to any network that may develop from WestCOG’s study. Participation by towns would be entirely voluntary. Networks would not be funded by increased taxes, and ongoing operations would be self-sustaining, not dependent on town subsidies.

Your bill

When you complete the survey, you are invited to upload a copy of your internet bill. This is entirely optional. Several ways to upload are explained.

You can redact personal information from the bill, but WestCOG needs to at least be able to see the town and/or ZIP code. This is all to help compare actual prices paid versus those advertised and gauge the accuracy of the data.

If you have already taken the survey but would now like to upload a copy of your bill, you can do so here.

More information about the broadband project can be found on a WestCOG website page. You can email WestCOG with any questions you may have.

About WestCOG

With no county governments, Connecticut relies on nine councils of government for regional planning. A key role is to disburse many state and federal grants.

COGs are public agencies that bring together the top elected official from each of the region’s cities and towns — mayors and First Selectpersons — to address matters of shared interest.

The councils are active in transportation planning and funding, economic development, emergency preparedness and management, information technology, land use planning, and municipal shared services.

In December, the U.S. Census Bureau granted Connecticut’s request to treat the state’s COGs as equivalent to counties. The change, which takes effect in 2023, will improve planning and decision-making that rely on census data.

It also improves the ability to compete for federal funds. Before the official designation of equivalence, Connecticut municipalities were ineligible to apply for some federal grants.

WestCOG member towns are Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

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