Greene County residents are being asked to weigh in on a survey about their Internet connectivity.
The Greene County Economic Development Group in partnership with a newly formed committee of community partners known as Better Internet for Greene County is working to bring more broadband accessibility and better Internet connectivity to the entire county.
Carrollton City Treasurer Diane Hendricks says a U Connect Illinois grant application for the City of Carrollton to do a study to bring broadband just to Carrollton quickly expanded the effort to bring broadband to the entire county: “According to mapping, the FCC considers Carrollton as having adequate Internet service. There is more funding out there to get broadband, so there is more funding we can apply for to help with infrastructure. Our consultant was telling us that we were not going to have a good chance for getting funding just for the City of Carrollton and that we should consider making it a county-wide effort. Greene County Economic Development stepped up and they paid the portion of the consulting fees to cover the cost above what the City of Carrollton had already paid to make this effort county-wide.”
Citizens from the entire county are being asked to do 2 things with the survey. The first is to perform a speed test with their Internet browser at home. The speed test will place a dot on a map for consultants to see the speed at that location. The second is a survey with questions. Hendricks says that addresses are not being sold to third parties and once the speed test is performed, mailing addresses are wiped out and are simply a dot on a map with an upload/download speed for Internet at that location.
Hendricks says the group would at least like to get 10% of the county to answer the survey before the close of the survey on April 14th to get a good picture of Internet speeds in the county: “Once we get all the speeds compiled, the consultant that we’ve hired will complete what’s called a rapid design study produced. Then, we can take that study and show it to Internet Service Providers like Frontier, Metro Link, Spark Life, and the different providers in the county. We can say to them that ‘You say you provide this much service in this area, but this is what people are actually getting. This is their actual upload and download speeds.’ Then, we can ask them what they can do to get us better service in these areas.”
Hendricks wants people to know that the ads in the local paper and online are not scams, but are simply attempting to solicit people to complete the surveys. She says it’s especially important for the more rural parts of the county who are under-served by connectivity to complete the survey.
You can find the survey and speed test at gcedg.com.