Otero County Economic Development Coordinator Danelle Berg has asked that all citizens — students, adults, businesses — take the survey for broadband usage in this area.

Otero County Economic Development Coordinator Danelle Berg has asked that all citizens — students, adults, businesses — take the survey for broadband usage in this area. Many are underserved and she needs to hear from everyone to do something about it.

The survey is on the internet at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Region6Broadband.

An information session was recently held in La Junta to discuss a strategic plan for southeastern Colorado.

Tilson, a consulting firm, and Otero County sponsored the session.

The Southeast Region strategic plan goal is to identify and expand broadband capacity.

The plan is designed to help define affordable broadband needs, identify gaps in broadband service and propose strategies to meet them. The process includes mapping the areas, knowing what service providers are available, hosting community meetings and asking local residents to complete a survey. Once these are established, strategies will be proposed.

Locally, broadband is an underused form of internet access due to lack of availability and cost. Local providers currently offer internet services through cable, fiber (broadband) or satellite.

According to the Colorado Office of Information Technology, statewide, 77 percent of rural households use broadband. But, in Region 6, which is Southeastern Colorado, that number is at 47 percent. Within Region 6, Prowers County has 54 percent of households using broadband, Otero County has 73 percent, Kiowa County has 3 percent, Crowley County has 11 percent, Bent County has 12 percent and Baca County has 82 percent.

Right now, the strategic plan developers are in the survey stage and are asking local residents to help determine local internet speeds and information.