Broadband planning is more important than ever

The corona virus and the need for so many to work from home has highlighted what I have been telling communities for nearly two decades: neighborhoods and rural roads are business districts.

It is too soon to tell what will happen once most businesses are open again and people return to work, but "return to work" may have an entirely different meaning as businesses realize employees can work productively from home at least part of the time.

In rural areas of the country, workers trying to work from home for the first time are realizing just how bad their broadband service is. Incumbent providers, especially the larger incumbent telephone companies, have essentially abandoned their landline infrastructure in many areas. Landline voice and DSL service in West Virginia, as one example, is terrible almost everywhere.

Despite the reluctance of many local governments to step in to try to solve the rural broadband crisis, the virus and the lockdown has increased the urgency of developing a broadband plan.

Design Nine has been helping rural communities improve broadband infrastructure longer than anyone else in the country. Give us a call if you want help (540-951-4400) or send us an email (

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