• In 2021, the Arkansas Legislative Council approved a contract for the Broadband Development Group to create a master plan for broadband development

    Benton County will host two town hall meetings in the month of February on behalf of the State of Arkansas and the Broadband Development Group. The program will collect firsthand feedback from local residents and businesses about what the state can do to improve high-speed internet access across Benton County. The first town hall meeting will be held at the Gentry Public Library,105 E Main St, inside of the Community Center on February 7, 2022 at 6p. The

    second meeting will be held at NEBCO, 14639 S Wimpy Jones Rd, Garfield on February 16, 2022 at 6p.

    How does this impact Benton County?

    Benton County spent months meeting with providers and trying to better understand the

    broadband landscape we find ourselves in. Two conclusions were reached:

    • There is definitely a need for improved broadband in many parts of Benton County – but that need is undefined and inconsistent across the county.
    • Until recently, there were a few defined “projects” in Benton County that would qualify for state American Rescue Plan funding under current rules and guidelines.

    “We’re very supportive of this effort to identify broadband deficiencies in Benton County,” said Benton County Judge, Barry Moehring. “And when they are identified we’ll partner with the state on projects to meet those needs.”

    What is the Broadband Development Group?

    The Broadband Development Group, LLC (BDG) has been retained by the State of Arkansas to

    establish and develop a broadband master plan. BDG was formed to address pent up demand for high-performance, affordable broadband Internet access.

    How can the public participate?

    In addition to attending the town halls held in Gentry and Garfield, the Arkansas Legislative Council is asking every Arkansan to fill out an online survey. The survey asks 12 questions

    regarding your internet usage, importance in your daily life, and the current speed of your

    service. The survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/arbroadband