By Tim Leeds
Bear Paw Development Corp. has taken the lead to find out how Havre businesses use modern technology, and how they want to use it.
Bear Paw mailed out surveys to more than 600 Havre businesses last week to find out how they use modern technology, like the Internet.
"We will have a snapshot how the community is presently using technology and what (people) perceive their future technology needs to be," said Paul Tuss, executive director of Bear Paw Development. "Hopefully what this will give us, too, is a good roadmap of how we can fill gaps in our telecommunications and technology infrastructure."
Tuss said the survey, which can also be filled out on Bear Paw's Web site, focuses on using technology in business.
The Montana Economic Development Association awarded Bear Paw a $4,340 grant in November to do the survey. Bear Paw has teamed up with Applied Communications of Great Falls to conduct it. Tuss said Applied Communications has conducted surveys like the Havre survey across the country.
If enough people return the survey by Thursday's deadline, Tuss hopes to have the results tallied and tabulated in time to unveil them at the Techspo exposition at Montana State University-Northern and Havre High School March 22-23. Kate McMahon, president of Applied Communications, is one of the scheduled speakers at Techspo.
One possible outcome of the survey is increasing the availability of high-speed Internet access.
"If we can use this survey as a springboard toward making high-speed Internet access more affordable for businesses well as personal use, that would be a wonderful result," Tuss said.