Residents and Businesses in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties Asked to Participate in Survey on Broadband Internet Access and Speed
Better Data Will Inform County Decisions for Improving Service
ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are asking residents and businesses to take a 15-question survey about internet service at their households.
The survey asks whether high-speed ("broadband") internet service is available at a given address, and at what speed.
The goal is to gain a clearer picture of connectivity in the tri-county area and support planning and possible broadband expansion efforts.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for broadband has become more evident, with residents working remotely, students attending school online and patients meeting doctors virtually. County Commissioners from the three counties convened in 2022 to consider how to address resident frustration over internet connectivity. In some areas, high-speed internet is unreliable, unaffordable or simply not available.
Home internet connectivity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was viewed by many as a luxury. Now it is a necessity, like electricity and clean water. The Tri-County Summit recognized this and has committed to surveying residents and businesses to identify gaps in internet service. To accomplish this, the three counties have partnered with Merit Network to develop a survey and promotional materials aimed at reaching all properties in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.
Merit Network, a Michigan-based nonprofit, is conducting the service as part of its Michigan Moonshot initiative.
The importance of this effort is apparent in the support from the leadership of all three counties.
Macomb County Executive, Mark Hackel - "Internet connectivity at home is an essential service no matter your demographic or where you choose to live. From applying for jobs, to accessing social services, and even working from home, you need a strong broadband connection to really function in this day and age. So I am pleased to see this collaboration, with all three counties working to ensure no one in the metro area is left behind Together we can make our region even stronger."
Macomb County Director of Planning & Economic Development, Vicky Rowinski - "When we look at all the major transformations that are happening in the tech revolution, it is so important that we get this infrastructure in play."
Chair of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, David T. Woodward - "This project is a top priority for our county, and it demonstrates how our region is working together better than ever. The results from this survey are critical to maximizing our access to resources so we can address barriers."
Oakland County Executive, Dave Coulter - "Widespread and affordable access to broadband service is more important than ever for our residents, our students and our businesses. This survey is the first step toward identifying gaps in service so we can make the necessary investments to ensure equitable access to the internet."
Chair of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, Alisha Bell - "During the pandemic, there were so many young people who had to rely on their cell phones to access their school lessons. The data from this survey will help make the case to the federal government as to why they need to invest in broadband infrastructure in southeast Michigan, so we can be a leader not only in the state but a leader in our country."
Wayne County Executive, Warren C. Evans - "It's no secret we live in the age of technology where accessing information is as simple as a point and a click. For some communities, particularly those of color, the digital divide makes this more difficult. Access to high-speed internet can make the difference in our children's success in school, employment for our communities and receiving resources designed to improve their quality of life. This survey and its results are essential in showing what areas lack this access and secure the appropriate funding to give those areas equal footing through establishing reliable high-speed internet."
Visit MichiganMoonshot.org/Tri-County-Broadband to complete the brief survey. Paper surveys are available upon request by calling (313) 625-0029.
ABOUT THE MICHIGAN MOONSHOT: The Michigan Moonshot is a collective call to action which aims to bridge the digital divide in Michigan. Stakeholders include Merit Network, the nation's longest-running research and education network, the Quello Center at Michigan State University, and M-Lab, the largest open internet measurement platform in the world. Learn more about the Michigan Moonshot at Merit.edu/Moonshot.
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SOURCE Merit Network
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