County Mayor’s Notes – October 5th, 2020

Over the next few editions of my County Mayor’s Notes I will be giving an overview of broadband service here in Cumberland County.  I’m going to attempt to keep each update brief as we have discussed some of it already. 

The COVID-19 update follows the Broadband Background update.

Broadband Background
During my campaign for Mayor, one theme seemed to be a constant.  Cumberland County has terrible broadband access.  All across the county, people asked for help getting access to broadband service.  In fact, very few areas have true broadband access (defined as 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds, or 25/3).  North, south, east, and west – even within the Crossville city limits, most households are served with inadequate internet services.

Although many households have internet access, the speed and reliability of the service often falls far short of broadband standards.  In looking to discover why Cumberland County has such poor access, I discovered a couple of reasons.  First, our local exchange carrier (LEC), the phone company, has not made substantial investments to improve service.  Second, the FCC maps used to designate grant eligible areas are terribly flawed.  This is due to the fact that providers submit service data to the FCC without any verification process.  There are other factors as well, but the FCC map problem alone prevented much of Cumberland County from being grant eligible.  Thankfully there are efforts underway to correct this issue on a federal level.

These issues, along with consumer complaints, led me to conduct my online broadband survey.  Participants were instructed to test their speeds online via a webpage and to enter the results online using the survey form.  The data from that survey from approximately 1,500 households clearly indicates we have a county-wide problem.

In the next newsletter I will discuss grant eligibility.

COVID-19 Update (difference from previous day)
The following are the numbers from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) for Cumberland County as of 2:00 PM today. The change from the prior day, not my prior newsletter, is in parenthesis.

Now is not the time to let our guard down.  Please continue social distancing and making wise choices to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

117 active cases (+16)
1,160 inactive/recovered (+3)
21 deaths officially reported (+1)
1,298 positive cases (+20)
61 hospitalizations (+1) *
23,537 negative tests (+334)
89.37% Inactive/Recovered
5.23% cumulative positivity rate (positive cases / positive cases + negative tests)
2.14% of residents have tested positive
0.19% of residents have active cases

These numbers are intended to be a brief summary of the information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health. More detailed information can be found at the online dashboard: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html

School level COVID-19 data is now available online.  Click this link to see the information available for Cumberland County:

https://districtinformation.tnedu.gov/covid-information/search/-1/180

* Hospitalization data reflect the cumulative (total) number of cases of Cumberland County residents that were ever hospitalized from COVID-19. It does not reflect the number of people currently hospitalized. This does not mean the patient was hospitalized in Cumberland County. It means that a Cumberland County resident was hospitalized at some point.

Health Department Testing and Face Coverings
Masks/face coverings can help to slow the spread by slowing or stopping the droplets that carry the virus.  Free cloth masks are available upon request at the Health Department for those that want one. Stop by Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm to pick one up for each individual in your household.

The local Health Department (1503 South Main Street) is conducting drive through testing, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.   No doctor’s order is required, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone can be tested regardless of symptoms.

Thank you for being part of the solution and thank you for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor.  If you are interested in hearing my thoughts and views on news, events, and activities in Cumberland County, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you,

Allen Foster
Cumberland County Mayor
http://allenfoster.net

Published by allenfoster

Cumberland County Mayor

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