Officials are expanding a survey aimed at identifying which parts of Ingham County lack high-speed broadband internet through the end of August.
The Ingham County Superintendent’s office launched the survey, called the Ingham County Broadband Census, in early June. As of Friday, county superintendent Greg Todd said officials had received responses from 3,165 families — about 3% of the county.
“We’ve been really shooting around 5% to 7%, so we’re about 2,000 (families) far from where we want to be,” Todd said. “We’ve had good responses from rural areas, so that’s fine because that was one of our big concerns…but our responses in East Lansing, Lansing and some of the other urban areas haven’t been as good as we’d like them to be.”
According to the survey, broadband internet access is not available in all parts of the country.
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The census is part of The Michigan Moonshot, a “collective call to action” from the Quello Center for Communications Management and Law at Michigan State University, the Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Merit Network and the open-source, Internet performance M-Lab project.
According to the Pew Research Center 2021 Fact Sheet, about 77% of US adults have a home broadband connection, a type of high-speed Internet service that transmits data quickly. In Michigan, at least 380,000 homes lack broadband access — equivalent to about 27% of families with school-age children, according to a project press release.
“The Ingham County Broadband Census will help Ingham County obtain as much data as possible regarding broadband access, upload and download speeds across the county,” a press release said. “Your participation is important, as the more people within Ingham County who take the census, the more accurate our data records will be, ensuring that Ingham County is well positioned for large-scale funding from the state of Michigan and the federal government.”
Todd said it’s important that officials receive data from all areas of the county.
“If you have broadband, but purchased lower (recommended) speeds, this information will help us as well,” Todd said. “So the more people can do (the survey), the more families can take it, the better off they are.”
The survey can be accessed at www.merit.edu/ingham. County residents who need to request a paper census can call Rachel Prettenhofer at 517-676-7206.
Contact reporter Jared Weber at 517-582-3937 or [email protected]