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County urges residents to complete broadband survey

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Livingston County wants to lead the region in high speed Internet connectivity. 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 Livingston County residents depending on the Internet to stay connected with their friends and family.

The county’s Board of Commissioners knows that many of our residents experience frustrating barriers when it comes to Internet connectivity. In an effort to better understand current services within the county and to explore broadband expansion options, the Board readily approved the creation of a Resident Broadband Survey, in partnership with Merit Network Inc.

In some areas of Livingston County, high-speed Internet is unreliable or not available. In order to bridge this “digital divide,” Livingston County needs to gain a better picture of who has the Internet access they need. A survey was developed by Merit Network that will 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 in Livingston County. The success of this survey relies on resident and business participation to help measure broadband access.

“Broadband access throughout the County has been a topic of great interest for some time,” said Nathan Burd, Livingston County administrator. “We are pleased to partner with Merit to conduct a survey for our residents that will provide an accurate assessment of broadband services currently available in the County, while also informing us of the Internet usage needs of our community. This information will assist us greatly as we review all potential options available for broadband expansion.”

The survey is being conducted through a partnership with the Michigan Moonshot initiative, which aims to bridge the digital divide in Michigan. With the participation of Livingston County residents, these organizations will review the survey’s results to develop a realistic representation of current broadband coverage and speeds.

Residents are being asked to visit MichiganMoonshot.org/livgov to complete the brief survey, whether they pay for Internet access at their property or not. The survey results will provide granular information about residents’ broadband speeds and availability to aid Livingston County in gathering the necessary information for possible broadband expansion.

ABOUT THE MICHIGAN MOONSHOT: The Michigan Moonshot is a collective call to action that 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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