Randolph County Digital Ambassador Named

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My name is Laura LeGlue, and I am excited to be working for N.C. Cooperative
Extension in Randolph County as the Digital Ambassador. I am a former member of RandolphCounty 4-H and graduate of Randolph Community College with an Associate in Arts degree, and I am currently studying Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

The Digital Ambassador position was created from the work of the Randolph County Digital Alliance (RCDA). The RCDA was formed to help bridge the digital divide in Randolph County was started as part of the BAND-NC grant received by N.C. Cooperative Extension in Randolph County. The digital divide was already prevalent in the county, but was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and during this hardship, the alliance was created. The Randolph County Digital Alliance is comprised of several community organizations and private citizens who are
passionate about promoting adequate access to broadband in our county. Anyone who shares this passion for broadband is welcome and encouraged to join.

As the RCDA ambassador, I have three tasks laid out for me to complete:

  • promote the Randolph County Digital Alliance’s digital inclusion plan and build awareness of the alliance,
  • solicit participation in the NC Broadband Survey with the goal of creating the best broadband coverage map in North Carolina, and
  • promote the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit program to underserved communities.

The NC Broadband Survey is designed to gather information on locations without
adequate internet access and speeds in our community. Identifying the areas that need internet access is the first step in bridging the digital divide in Randolph county. Our goal is to have the most comprehensive broadband coverage map in the state, meaning we need 5000 or more participants in this survey. Many of us understand the frustration of waiting hours for a handful of files to upload or searching for a place with an internet connection to do schoolwork, apply for jobs, or even stream a movie. The data this survey provides will help ensure that this is no longer an issue for anyone in the future.

The survey can be taken one of three ways:

  • for those with the internet, they can visit online using their home or business internet, and
  • for those without internet, they can call 919-750-0553 or text “Internet” to the same number to take the survey over the phone or via text.

For those without internet because of the cost or those who struggle with their internet bill, the Emergency Broadband Benefit is an option. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. It can provide up to a $50 per month discount for broadband service, and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. Eligibility requirements, application instructions, and more information can be found on the
Get Emergency Broadband website. Promotional materials, including church bulletin inserts, for the NC Broadband Survey and the Emergency Broadband Benefit are available upon request at the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Randolph County office. Anyone who is interested in joining the Randolph County Digital Alliance can send inquiries to kmsherin@ncsu.edu or call 336-318-6000.