Lompoc officials are seeking community input on internet availability and service speeds throughout the city as a means to find where quality internet access is lacking.

The Lompoc Internet Service Survey is being conducted for the purpose of sharing survey data with the state to acquire grant funding for improved internet service and access for residents, according to city officials.

California has prioritized the improvement of internet service throughout the state to ensure equal access for all citizens, while the federal government has budgeted $65 billion of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to improve the country’s broadband system.

With survey results collected, officials hope to attract grant funding for new infrastructure improvements by local internet service providers.

The challenge, according to officials, has been Lompoc's size. It's reportedly not as cost-effective for internet service providers to invest infrastructure dollars in areas where their return on investment is limited.

“We are hoping to bring attention to the growing digital divide that is impacting our residents and business owners in the community,” said Mayor Jenelle Osborne. “The lack of connectivity has become increasingly difficult to contend with now that many of us have been working and going to school from home and have needed to rely on virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom and Teams.”

The citywide survey is open and available in both English and Spanish until Nov. 15 at cityoflompoc.com/community/lompoc-internet-service-survey Respondents will be prompted to fill out a separate survey for each address where they are paying for service, including places of business, residential and rental properties.

Further questions can be directed to Samantha Scroggin at s_scroggin@ci.lompoc.ca.us, or 805-875-8278.

Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.

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