Development Council Launches Broadband Survey for Connected Communities Program

Published February 19, 2021

Illinois Connected Communities Broadband Survey poster enThe poster for McKinley Park's Internet survey shares details on this Illinois Connected Communities project from the McKinley Park Development Council.A survey of Internet service for the McKinley Park Community Area of Chicago hopes to identify and understand broadband access issues faced by neighborhood residents and businesses. The survey from the McKinley Park Development Council arrives as the first local project for Illinois Connected Communities (ICC), a statewide program into which the council was accepted in summer 2020.

 
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"We are hoping to better understand quality and affordability of [Internet service providers] for those who have Internet access," said council ICC Chair Anthony Wojtal, "and to better understand the barriers of those who don't."

The survey consists of a Google Doc form comprising ten to 20 questions about Internet access for businesses and residents, both those with and without access to Internet. The survey web page on the council's website provides more information and survey link.

 
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Valuable Dataset

Illinois Connected Communities Broadband Survey poster esThe Spanish language version of the poster shares details on the Illinois Connected Communities survey from the McKinley Park Development Council."This is a valuable dataset that we want to gather to better understand the needs and current conditions of the neighborhood," said McKinley Park Development Council President John Belcik.

Wojtal said statistics from 2018 showed that 15 percent to 20 percent of McKinley Park residents did not have Internet access, "and we want to know why. Even for those with Internet, we know options are limited."

 
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Perceived quality of service, impacts on remote work and learning and affordability are all elements the council wants to understand. "This survey is incredibly important for a few reasons," Wojtal said.

Closing Digital Divide

The survey is active now and will run further into 2021, Wojtal said. "We expect to start reporting on results in spring or summer, but we may decide to keep the survey open, depending on response rate."

Survey results will inform future work with city and state partners to close the digital divide,Wojtal said, "and bring affordable, reliable and accessible Internet to McKinley Park."


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