Kent County is asking for participation in a high speed internet access & Speed survey
Kent County is asking residents and businesses to take a short survey about Internet access. The pandemic exposed what some call the “digital divide” as it relates to those with and without access to high-speed internet service.
It’s a 15-question survey (takes 5 min per device) that will ask about your internet service at your home or business locations. The survey will ask whether high-speed, broadband internet service is available at a given address and if so, at what speed and cost.
Kent County officials say the goal is to get a better picture of internet connectivity in the county. Sandra Ghoston-Jones, Management Analyst in the Kent County Administrator’s office says broadband is an essential and critical service, adding there are clearly gaps in the service.
“The pandemic really opened our eyes to the gaps. We learned people could adequately do telehealth medical visits. Kids were having issues doing schoolwork, especially if there were more than one child in the home and parents were working remotely. It really pointed to the fact that we have gaps where people aren’t being served at all as well as underserved areas where there is some broadband access but really not enough for people to meet their needs.”
And Ghoston-Jones says the gaps are everywhere…
“If you go on one street there’s great internet access, speeds are great and you can go a block away and you can have difficulties and challenges getting high speed, quality, broadband.”
The survey should expose gaps in internet service. The county has partnered with Merit Network to develop the survey. Ghoston-Jones says there are state, federal and grant dollars that can help with any expansion efforts, once they have more info.
Ghoston-Jones says you can take the survey using your wi-fi connection for all devices- phones, laptops, chrome books, whatever you use, so they can get an accurate idea of connectivity levels for each home. The survey again is 15 questions and five minutes per device. The survey is also available on paper and can be mailed to you. She adds, they hope to have a blueprint on ways to improve internet access in the county by the end of March. You can find the survey at
michiganmoonshot.org\kent. If you need paper survey 616 632 6512/