Accelerate Wayne

Emerging tourist/tech region 90 miles from New York City seeks affordable broadband options, improved cell service, 5G investments and Gigabit City status to help existing Employers grow; and new companies relocate to beautiful Wayne County, Pennsylvania


The Wayne County Commissioners, and the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) Tech Committee are pleased to announce the Request for Proposal (RFP) for communitywide broadband is open for interested broadband providers.  To request a copy of the Broadband RFP, interested providers should email Kelly Lewis, RFP facilitator, at Kelly@LewisStrategic.com. The RFP submission deadline is March 31, 2022. RFP purchasing options will be shared as early as April 15, 2022. 

Providers that request the RFP will be invited to an RFP Briefing at 3:00 pm on Thursday March 3, 2022. 

Reliable internet access and cell service in Wayne County have been a top priority of the Commissioners, and WEDCO. In January 2022, the Commissioners received a grant from the William H. Chatlos Charitable Gift Fund, to proactively help resolve technology challenges for Wayne County. The collaboration includes the Wayne County Community Foundation that will be acting as a fiscal pass-through. 

To date, more than 1,600 households and 121-employers have responded to the broadband surveys.

Today, the second phase of Wayne County Broadband Project starts with the Commissioners releasing of a communitywide Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit all broadband and service providers to submit proposals to improve broadband options, availability, and pricing in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.  The RFP also addresses Dead Cell Zones and seeks proposals from cell tower construction firms and providers to submit proposals to eliminate Dead Cell Zones and speed the deployment of 5G. 

It's not too late for employers and residents to complete Wayne County Broadband Survey, posted here:

EMPLOYERS (confidential) CLICK HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J7YNG2S

HOUSEHOLDS CLICK HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J7CQZBB

With more than 93% of e911 emergency calls coming from cell phones, securing excellent cell service is a public safety priority. Likewise, more than ever affordable and high-speed broadband is critical for employers, households, students, schools, tourism, and real estate markets! 

A long-range project objective is gigabit city status for Wayne County’s more densely populated areas, where businesses and households can purchase synchronous gigabit internet connections (gigabit upload/download) for $1,000/year or less. While many PA, NJ, and NY zip codes have achieved gigabit city status, this Project seeks to spur gigabit investment and drop gigabit pricing. A second objective is to improve broadband and cellular service to the county’s less-densely populated areas wherever possible.

According to BroadbandNow, Wayne County ranks in the lowest quartile for county broadband coverage. Wayne County is excited to work with our consultant Lewis Strategic to improve these rankings.  After years of broadband projects, his home county, nearby rural Monroe County, with equally challenging broadband geography, is ranked 4th best in the same survey. https://broadbandnow.com/Pennsylvania

Companies seeking to relocate to Wayne County should contact: Mary Beth Wood, Executive Director, WEDCO, mbw@wedcorp.org32 Commercial Street, Suite 1, Honesdale, PA 18431, 570-253-2537

Accelerate Wayne – The Gigabit & Dead Cell Zone Project - Goals and Objectives:

(1) Immediately conduct countywide survey of broadband, cell service, and costs; (2) Develop/implement solutions to increase broadband availability to underserved locations; (3) Develop/implement solutions to reduce Employer and Household broadband Mbps costs by 50%; (4) Develop/implement solutions to increase availability of gigabit connectivity to Honesdale, Hawley, and across Wayne County; (5) Identify dead cell zones with no cell service, and develop/implement solutions ways to eliminate them; (6) Help more organizations offer WiFi hotspots where cell coverage is weak or obstructed; (7) Develop/implement solutions to position the County for 5G wireless investment; and, (8) Develop/implement solution strategies to position Honesdale, Hawley,  and other municipalities for Gigabit City

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HOW CAN YOU HELP:  

  • Share this Release with your broadband and cell phone provider, asap! 
  • Share this Release on HOA Community pages, newsletters, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and social media groups!
  • Invite us to speak on conference calls, meetings, virtual coffee groups, and other community activities!
  • Share Project videos/news reports when they are released and shared. 
  • Share the Accelerate Wayne website link: https://www.waynetomorrow.com/343/Accelerate-Wayne
  •  Complete the Employer and Household surveys!
  • Share the Employer and Household survey links with as many employers and households as possible: 
  • Post the survey links on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and social media groups!
  • Invite us to speak on conference calls, meetings, virtual coffee groups, and other community activities!
  • Post our Project videos when they are released and shared. 

 

For more information contact:

Kelly Lewis: Kelly@LewisStrategic.com 

A message from the Wayne County Commissioners:

Recently, the Wayne County Commissioners hired a broadband specialist to help improve service in Wayne County and to best implement state and federal money earmarked for rural broadband improvements. The specialist, Kelly Lewis, was hired thanks to a generous donation from the William H. Chatlos Charitable Gift Fund, that wants to proactively help resolve the technology challenges for Wayne County. The collaboration includes the Wayne County Community Foundation that will be acting as a fiscal passthrough.

“Many PA Counties will be looking to improve broadband at the same time. This will make getting needed labor and equipment difficult. By acting quickly, and because of the help of our generous donors, Wayne County will be ahead of the situation, “stated the Wayne County Commissioners.  “The primary reason we don’t have decent broadband services here, is because our rural population doesn’t offer the customer base ISP’s need to make infrastructure improvements. American Recovery Act Program (ARPA) money and other funding is being made available directly to the counties, not ISP’s, and we need to spend those funds as effectively as possible. We want to thank everyone who takes the time to complete the survey.”

Wayne County has benefitted from the expertise and guidance of a tech committee that has functioned under WEDCO (Wayne County Economic Development Corporation) for years. They will continue to advise the Commissioners on project funding.