Businesses react to internet connection in Walton County
For business owners having internet is essential in 2020.
"It's imperative for businesses to have access to good internet, good stable, reliable, consistent internet, so that we can process payments, we can have access to our inventory, to make it easier for customers to come in and purchase things," said Amanda Bierbaum, Owner of Soiree.
In areas of northern Walton County, good cell service and internet connectivity can be spotty.
For businesses that have Wi-Fi hot spots, they said it brings in customers.
"It gives people a place to come to access Wi-Fi and internet, where (otherwise) they wouldn't be able to," said Mischa Pawlik, Owner, Perla Baking Company.
But not all have it so easy.
While companies like Perla baking company say having WiFi helps business, on the other side of the street, the owner of Soiree says unreliable access is a burden.
"In DeFuniak we're at the mercy of one provider, and to have a choice to have consistent, reliable service, sometimes we call and it's four days before they can get us restored service," said Bierbaum.
Walton County officials say they are trying to expand internet service to northern parts of the county by partnering with private businesses.
"Trying to get with a company (that) will partner with us, be dedicated to putting in infrastructure and certainly serving areas that currently have no service at all," said Louis Svehla, Public Information Officer, Walton County Commission
Currently, Walton County offers 13 free Wi-Fi spots for anyone to use.