An email from Mike Mahoney arrived yesterday, making a truly cogent case for why the survey backed by the volunteer Rappahannock County Broadband Committee is important. (I completed the survey in less than 10 minutes over the weekend). Mike sent it to the Rappahannock Lions Club, and he gave me permission to post it here:

Fellow Lions –

It may be necessary for me to miss the next few meetings.  So I am using email to stress to you the importance of the survey presently being fielded by the Rappahannock Broadband Committee.
Two facts are certain:
1.  The people and institutions we all rely on increasingly presume that we have up-to-date and adequate access to high speed internet service.  They do this whether we want them to or not.
2.  There are many places in our county where internet access is either not available or is only available at considerable cost.

The recent Foothills Forum survey confirmed what many of us knew:  internet access in Rappahannock is an important issue.  It did not, however, provide the sort of practical information necessary to do much about it.  The survey the Broadband Committee is now asking Rappahannock residents to complete is intended to collect that critical data.  If there is to be any progress towards expanded internet coverage here, it is critical that the survey achieve a high response rate.   It is especially important that persons who do not now have adequate internet complete and return a questionnaire.  This is so because potential providers need to have a good sense of what their potential market is.

You can find more information about the survey (and the Broadband Committee) at  And you can do your part not only by completing the survey yourself but also by encouraging your friends and neighbors to do so.
There are pessimists and nay-sayers about who claim that nothing can or should be done about internet service here in Rappahannock.  The Broadband Committee, however, is working with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), which has a proven record of helping rural counties dramatically to expand internet access.  Moreover, we believe we must – – especially for our children and senior citizens – – move forward.    And we are looking to citizens like yourselves for help.
Please feel free to contact me for more information
Mike Mahoney, member
Rappahannock Broadband Committee*
*appointed by the County Board of Supervisors