By Jessica Mathews -

In order to bridge what’s being referred to as a “digital divide” – input is being sought via a survey from Livingston County residents to gain a better picture of who has the Internet access they need.

Livingston County is looking to lead the region in high-speed Internet connectivity. A press release states that throughout the past two years, the need for broadband has become more evident with residents teleworking, students increasingly needing to access the Internet for their education, patients using telemedicine for appointments with their doctors, and residents depending on the Internet to stay connected with friends and family.

The release states the County Board of Commissioners recognizes that many residents experience frustrating barriers when it comes to Internet connectivity. Thus, in an effort to better understand current services within the County and to explore broadband expansion options, the Board has approved the creation of a Resident Broadband Survey, in partnership with Merit Network Inc.

In some areas of Livingston County, high-speed Internet is either unreliable or not available. In order to bridge that “digital divide”, the County is looking to gain a better picture of who has the Internet access they need.

The survey that was developed aims to provide accurate data regarding Internet access, speeds, and costs across the County. Information gathered will only be used to support broadband Internet expansion efforts and will aid the County in seeking grant funding to increase broadband availability.

The success of the survey though is said to rely on resident and business participation to help measure broadband access. Residents are being asked to complete the brief survey, whether they pay for Internet access at their property or not.

A link and more information are available in the attached press release.