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Michigan Gogebic County Broadband Survey Available

Published by You Daily Global on August 17, 2019

By Richard Jenkins 

Ironwood — Supporters of broadband expansion in Gogebic County are hoping residents will complete an online survey looking at demand in the region.

The survey is part of a larger broadband expansion effort by Connected Nation Michigan, a non-profit partnering with “the Michigan Public Service Commission to engage in a comprehensive broadband planning and technology initiative as part of a national effort to map and expand broadband,” according to the group’s website.

The goal of the survey is to determine both the current state of broadband in the county and where areas of need and potential customers are.

“It’s kind of trying to get a feel through direct responses from the residents and businesses of what they have access to,” said Jerry Wuorenmaa, the executive director of the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region.

WUPPDR is working with local officials and the non-profit on the survey.

Although the survey is just targeting Gogebic County, anyone can take the survey and Wuorenmaa said there may some bleed over into Iron County as the local broadband effort has been cooperative between advocates on both sides of the border.

The results of the survey may potentially be used in future grant application or in a general analysis for service providers so they can see areas of demand.

The survey continues an effort in Gogebic County that started in 2017, according to Wuorenmaa, as part of an attempted update to a technology action plan that had been developed.

The initial lack of responses to the survey meant it couldn’t provide meaningful data, according to Wuorenmaa. This led to the effort being put on the back burner in favor of other priorities — such as the opposition to the closure of the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco Township.

Organizers are hoping for a better response rate this time.

“I — working with the locals and Connect Michigan — decided it would be a good idea to take another run at the survey because it was kind of becoming a priority again,” said Wuorenmaa, asking people to fill it out as soon as possible.

The questions largely deal with what current service people have, what they have access to, and what type of access they’d like or need.

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