LANSING, Mich. — Ingham County officials are tackling an issue that came to light during the pandemic, internet connectivity.
Now, they're partnering up with a firm and asking residents to take a five-minute survey in an effort to bridge the digital divide in the Greater Lansing area.
"It asks people whether or not they are happy with their internet connection. If they're shopping around, that's another thing that is hidden. We assume that we have access but are we getting good value for our access? Is our broadband speed meeting the needs of our modern workplace environment?" asked Alexis Schrubbe, of the Merit Network, Inc.
Schrubbe says the survey also includes a speed test that gives researchers real-time knowledge of how efficient each user's broadband is.
She says part of the inspiration for the survey comes from the gap that was highlighted when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everything shutdown.
"As we know, the pandemic completely shifted how we think about and use the internet. Now, we can see that school and broadband are linked. Our leadership came together to, and I quote 'fix the damn internet,'" said Schrubbe.
Both Schrubbe and Dan Manning from Connected Nation say this kind of research is taking place all over the country, and Michigan's connectivity ranking is not the best, but it's certainly not the worst.
"There's a lot of growth coming here over the next couple of years, and so hopefully, we'll be able to see and fix some of the problems that we've had for a long time," said Manning.
The Ingham County connectivity survey will be open until the end of this month.
Researchers will then put together a full report on the data and include some recommendations by October.
If you'd like to participate in the survey, we have a link here.
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