April 17, 2021

JEDCO, NDC encourage citizens to take broadband survey

1,500 completed surveys are needed for Jasper County

To measure the adequacy of existing high-speed internet service within a 11-county area and identify locations in need of improvement, citizens of Jasper County — especially students, parents and teachers — are asked to participate in the Central Iowa Broadband Internet Survey.

Coordinated by Greater Des Moines Partnership, the survey is divided into two types: residential and business. They survey is described as “a comprehensive study of broadband internet usage and availability” for the affected counties.

Surveys for residential households measure broadband accessibility and consumer experience, whether internet is available at a particular address and uncover other limiting factors such as reliability and affordability.

On the other hand, business surveys also want to track internet availability and business owners’ experiences, as well as the impact current broadband internet services are having on business operations and growth.

The surveys can be taken at www.centraliowabroadbandsurvey.com

Jeff Davidson, executive director of JEDCO, and Tanya Michener, associate director of Newton Development Corporation, are members of the broadband study’s promotions committee. They need at least 1,500 completed surveys from Jasper County to reach the necessary level of statistical validity.

“Broadband access has been important for a long time, but COVID shed the light on where the holes were,” Michener said in a statement to Newton News. “Whether it was school work, remote working, or farming, it became obvious because it affected everyone. This survey is going to put some data behind exactly where those locations are that need addressed and instead of patching something along, looking at it for a more comprehensive approach.”

Working alongside broadband internet professionals and local leaders, the Greater Des Moines Partnership says the goal is to create a one-of-a-kind study that will provide decision-makers a detailed view of internet availability.

Results from the survey will help regional leaders identify and address current gaps in availability, speed/performance, reliability and affordability; the data can also be used to provide opportunities for additional funding mechanisms.

With the Iowa Legislature contemplating hundreds of millions of dollars in broadband assistance, Michener says “we need to make sure we have our ducks in a row in Jasper County.” The study, she says, will do just that.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

Christopher Braunschweig

Reporter with a strong penchant for community journalism.