Jackson discusses solutions to slow internet

Sylva was named the nation’s slowest city for internet in a recent report from internet service comparison website www.highspeedinternet.com, and that struggle continues to be a frequent topic of conversation in town and county meetings. 

Regional commission completes broadband study

With the results of a regional broadband survey now available, leaders have expansive data on the underserved areas in their counties and can seek out public-private partnership opportunities in an effort to expand high-speed internet service. 

Frontier Communications rep flooded with customer complaints

Swain County residents recently crowded a room to voice their dissatisfaction with the internet and cell service they are — or aren’t — receiving from Frontier Communications.

Macon pushes forward with broadband expansion

Macon County’s concerted efforts to bring better broadband capabilities to residents are moving right along.

The digital divide is still way too wide

It was just a press release, one among the dozens a week that media outlets receive and that may or may not make it into the paper, on TV, on the radio or on a website. When it came across my computer screen, though, it seemed suddenly clear to me that it was symbolic of how our economic development priorities have to change.

“Gov. Cooper recommends eight Western North Carolina projects for ARC funding,” read the headline. Looking at the eight projects revealed that of the $3 million the Appalachian Regional Commission will most likely award, $1,374,714 was for an access road to a new development in Morganton and another $873,509 was to repave a road to an existing industrial site in Rutherford County.

High-speed internet project plods along

The all-important push to bring high-speed internet to Western North Carolina generated a lot of optimism earlier this summer when the town of Waynesville and the Land of Sky Regional Council entered into an agreement with the goal of expanding high-speed internet service to the area. 

A look at how local governments utilize the web

coverHaving a website used to be an added bonus for local governments, but now it has become a necessity and the public and the press have higher expectations for online services and transparency.

Governments get graded

Online presence a must for modern government

The Smoky Mountain News editorial team decided to evaluate and score the websites of four Western North Carolina counties, six municipalities and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to see whether local governments are failing, meeting or exceeding those expectations.

Governments get graded

fr web govtJournalists responsible for news gathering in a rugged and mountainous four-county (Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain), 2,111-square-mile swath of Western North Carolina that happens to contain two sovereign nations, 11 towns, 32 unincorporated communities, 44 townships, 150,000 people, and the most visited national park in the country often rely on local government websites and the accuracy and timeliness of the information contained therein.

Maggie Valley website biggest bang for the buck

fr webmaggieYears ago, the Town of Maggie Valley used to be known as a place where governance didn’t always take place in full sunshine. 

Canton plans to beef up town website

fr webcantonThe Town of Canton’s website was the subject of discussion during recent budget hearings, as some questioned the need for spending $25,000 (plus $5,000 for marketing) on a new one. 

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