Residents and businesses in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties asked to participate in a survey on broadband Internet access and speed

Better data will inform county decisions to improve service

ANN ARBOR, Michigan., June 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Macomb, oakland AND Wayne Counties are asking residents and businesses to take a 15-question survey of Internet service among their households.

Merit Logo (PRNewsfoto/Merit Network)

Merit Logo (PRNewsfoto/Merit Network)

The survey asks if high-speed Internet service (“broadband”) is available at a particular address and at what speed.

The goal is to gain a clearer picture of connectivity in the tri-county area and support planning and any broadband expansion efforts.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for broadband has become more apparent, with residents working remotely, students attending school online, and patients meeting doctors virtually. County commissioners from the three counties met in 2022 to consider ways to address residents’ frustration about internet connectivity. In some areas, high-speed Internet is unreliable, inaccessible, or simply unavailable.

Home internet connectivity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was seen by many as a luxury. Now it’s a necessity, like electricity and clean water. The Tri-County Summit recognized this and pledged to survey residents and businesses to identify gaps in Internet service. To achieve this goal, 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 Michigannon-profit, is conducting the service as part of its Michigan Moonshot initiative.

The importance of this effort is evident in the support of the leadership of all three counties.

Macomb County Executive, Marco 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 work on this day and So I’m glad to see this partnership, 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 and Economic Development, Vicky Rowinsky – “When we look at all the major transformations that are happening in the technological revolution, it is so important that we bring this infrastructure into play.”

President of Oakland County Board of Commissioners, David T. Woodward – “This project is a top priority for our county and demonstrates how our region is collaborating better than ever before. The results of 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 to our residents, our students and our businesses. This survey is the first step towards identifying gaps in the service so we can the investments needed to ensure equitable access to the Internet.”

President of Wayne County Board of Commissioners, Alisha Bell – ‚ÄúDuring the pandemic, there have been so many young people who have had to rely on their cell phones to access school classes. Data from this survey will help the federal government explain why they need to invest in broadband infrastructure in the Southeast Michiganso we can be a leader not only in the state but also in our country”.

Wayne County Executive, Warren C Evans – “It’s no secret that we live in an age of technology where accessing information is as simple as pointing and clicking. For some communities, especially those of color, the digital divide makes it more difficult. Accessing High-speed Internet can make a difference in our children’s educational success, employment for our communities, and the receipt of resources designed to improve their quality of life.This survey and its findings are essential in showing which areas do not have this access and ensure adequate funding to give such areas a level playing field through establishing a reliable high-speed Internet connection.”

Visit MichiganMoonshot.org/Tri-County-Broadband to complete the short survey. Paper surveys are available upon request by calling (313) 625-0029.

ABOUT MICHIGAN MOONSHOT: The Michigan Moonshot is a collective call to action that aims to bridge the digital divide Michigan. Stakeholders include the Merit Network, the nation’s longest-running research and education network, the That Center at Michigan State Universityand M-Lab, the world’s largest open internet measurement platform. Learn more about the Michigan Moonshot at Merit.edu/Moonshot.

CONTACTS WITH THE MEDIA:

For more information:
MichiganMoonshot.org/Tri-County-Broadband

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