HELP BRING BROADBAND TO WASHTENAW COUNTY
More than 8,000 households representing over 20,000 Washtenaw County residents lack broadband internet access. Your participation in a brief survey and broadband speed measurement test will provide information critical to seeking federal grant funding to increase broadband availability.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SURVEY?
Access to, and use of, the internet has become an integral component of everyday life in the 21st century. Digital information has reshaped how individuals participate in nearly every dimension of society. It is imperative for communities to leverage broadband network access to eliminate the homework gap and for the benefit of education, telemedicine, public safety, workforce development, and to maintain general quality of life.
More than 8,000 households representing over 20,000 Washtenaw County residents lack broadband internet access. In addition, at least 368,000 homes lack access to broadband statewide.
Residents in participating townships will receive a paper survey in the mail the week of February 3, 2020. This survey will be printed with a unique property tax ID.
Residents with broadband access at home should follow the instructions on the mailer to complete the survey and speed test online.
Residents without broadband access at home are instructed to complete the paper survey and return it via mail.
The survey results will provide granular information about residents’ broadband speeds and internet availability to aid the task force in gathering the necessary data for grant applications.
Participating townships include:
- Ann Arbor Twp
- Augusta Twp
- Bridgewater Twp
- Dexter Twp
- Freedom Twp
- Lima Twp
- Lodi Twp
- Manchester Twp
- Northfield Twp
- Saline Twp
- Scio Twp
- Sharon Twp
- Sylvan Twp
- Webster Twp
- York Twp
The Washtenaw County Broadband Task Force survey is being conducted through a partnership with the Michigan Moonshot initiative. 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.
With the participation of Washtenaw County residents, these organizations will collect the necessary data to develop a realistic representation of current broadband coverage and speeds. Accurate, unbiased data will assist in drawing necessary state and federal funds to the community.
Washtenaw County will not collect or share names, phone numbers, or email addresses of residents. Survey responses linking broadband coverage to property addresses may be shared with third parties for the purposes of seeking broadband funding. Washtenaw County will never sell private information to third parties.
ABOUT THE WASHTENAW COUNTY BROADBAND TASK FORCE
The Washtenaw County Broadband Task Force was convened by the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to explore countywide broadband equity via collaboration with local townships, to explore grant opportunities that would result in countywide broadband equity.
IN THE NEWS
The Broadband Task Force, with representatives from each of these affected municipalities will be utilizing the funding provided by the Board of Commissioners to conduct a survey that will assess the level of broadband coverage available in our rural areas and asks residents to express their initial interest in a broadband service that meets the FCC standards of reliable internet.
A 2018 Washtenaw County broadband report blames the lack of internet access on broadband providers who don’t want to invest in low populated areas. They fear their return on investment would be low. To explore the possibility of expanding broadband in the affected areas, the county created a task force to develop a plan to achieve 100% county-wide broadband access by 2022.
One of the items built into the 2020 budget is the Board’s continued commitment to Broadband equity in Washtenaw County by 2022.
About 8,000 Washtenaw County households do not have access to broadband internet, the standard for fast, reliable internet access according to a report from the county in November 2018.
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.