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BARRIER: Awareness    

STRATEGY Establish a Broadband Specialist role who would “own” the adoption strategies and be responsible for managing their implementation.

It is important that the strategies necessary to boost adoption are “someone’s job”. If a county depends on others who work on these strategies as time permits secondary to their primary responsibilities, these strategies will likely not be fully executed.
This position could be a position either within county administration, boards, councils, etc. It would likely not be a permanent position. Once a county achieved the desired adoption level, the need for the role would diminish over time. As a result, consideration should be given for this being a contract position and not an FTE.
STRATEGY Develop a comprehensive broadband awareness campaign to increase awareness for non-adopters.
  • Define a set of standard messages that are to be communicated through multiple media channels including:
    • Benefits of being online
    • How can you use the Internet
    • Broadband access packages which are available through local provider
    • Digital literacy training offerings
    • Success stories focused on existing citizens
  • Define media channels to be utilized for distribution. These may include but are not limited to:
    • Mailing sent to existing property tax database
    • Flyer sent home through the schools
  • Consider a marketing initiative to ensure those that have broadband access are subscribing. Market the benefits of broadband, digital literacy offerings and low cost options through direct mailings, information delivered through the schools to parents, fliers included with tax bills, information on the county’s website and at every public gathering opportunity .
  • Utilize the “Take the Show on the Road” to setup a booth at public locations to elicit subscribers
STRATEGY Develop standard awareness and outreach program targeted toward seniors and delivered through local church groups demonstrating the relevance of Internet access to the group.
The Broadband Specialist would be responsible for developing a program/presentation that would be presented to local church groups or civic groups that have a predominately senior membership. This program would focus on the following:
  • Provide basic digital literacy education.
  • Demonstrate the benefits of the Internet to seniors:
    o Online resources (AARP,, etc.) , Facebook for staying in touch with family & friends.
  • Provide real world examples of how they would use the Internet.
  • Partner with local providers and ask them to consider offering a special package deal to this group if they signup during the session.
  • Consider implementing a site to support digital literacy training as well as acquisition and support of broadband service. One such example is
STRATEGY Take the show on the road.
  • The Broadband Specialist would develop a multi-media presentation that would detail the benefits of being online.
  • A portable display booth could be acquired which could be setup at public locations within a county.
  • If there is a participating provider perhaps they would consider offering a special package deal for citizens who are willing to sign up for service on the spot.
STRATEGY Enhance availability of e-Government services to engage citizens allowing them to interact with local government electronically.
Localities have an opportunity to provide citizens with tools allowing them to interact with local government. This strategy may establish relevance for some of the non-adopters who feel they have no reason to utilize the Internet. In addition, this will also provide significant benefit to the locality and its citizens in that e-Government services play a significant role in bringing both individuals and business to the locality. The following are examples of action items which would be involved with this strategy.
  • Transform the public website into a contemporary citizen portal. Many local governments are moving to a citizen portal model for their public websites which focus on a functional model allowing citizens to easily find services and interact with the government. Below are links to examples of some Virginia localities that have moved to this model.
  • Implement services to foster citizen interaction. Localities have an opportunity to implement contemporary e-government services to foster communication with citizens as well as foster economic development. Localities should consider implementation of services such as the following
    • Emergency Notifications
    • Subscribe to County News
    • Online Access to Board of Supervisor Meetings
    • Online Business License Application
    • Online Payments
    • Search of Business Locations
    • Report a Problem
    • Register for Recreation Programs
    • Apply for a Job
City of Danville
City of Fredericksburg
King William
Surry County
Charles City County