County residents, businesses want better speeds, reliability, and affordability
Eaton County, Michigan (February 7, 2022) – After more than four months of research, the Eaton County Broadband Communication Council this week published a Technology Action Plan that’s focused on how to improve broadband (high-speed internet) across the county.
“The citizen survey provided valuable information needed to locate problem areas to internet access,” said Jeremy Whittum, Chairman, Eaton County Board of Commissioners. “Increased consumer demand and the survey information provide our private-sector partners with the foundation to improve internet access in Eaton County in an efficient and effective manner.”
The project was completed in partnership with Connected Nation Michigan (CN Michigan), leveraging the nonprofit’s Connected Community Engagement Program, also referred to as Connected. As part of the work, an interactive map that shows levels of internet access across the area can be found here: https://connectednation.org/michigan/eaton/interactivemap.
In addition, the Council and CN Michigan collected 1,322 surveys from September 1 through December 7, 2021, and learned that:
- 88% of residents currently subscribe to broadband
- County residents pay on average $73.70 per month for their broadband service
- Only 50% of responding residents are satisfied with their current service
- Primary concerns are speed, reliability, and cost
- The average Eaton County household has 14.7 internet-enabled devices
“That data was used to inform the Technology Action Plan developed specifically for our county,” said Commissioner Wayne Ridge, Board of Commissioners Information Technology and Communication Committee Chairman. “In addition, CN Michigan provided an analysis of our current internet infrastructure and a comprehensive assessment of what the data means so we could develop actionable and viable steps for better connecting our community. All that boils down to one thing: ensuring every one of community members has reliable and affordable access to the resources and opportunities that the internet provides. ”
The following items are among the Technology Action Plan’s recommendations:
- Form an Eaton County “Broadband Workgroup” to execute the plan
- Prioritize specific areas in need of service improvements
- Engage with key providers to accelerate and maximize broadband expansion
- Assess unserved/underserved areas for additional expansion
- Develop public-private partnerships to deploy broadband service
- Assess and pursue available funding sources
- Promote low-cost broadband service offerings for vulnerable populations
The full project report, detailed survey results, and Technology Action Plan can be found at https://connectednation.org/eaton-county-michigan/.
To learn more about the Connected Community Engagement Program, visit: https://connectednation.org/connect-my-community/
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About Connected Nation Michigan: CN Michigan is a local division of the national nonprofit Connected Nation, which marked 20 years of service in 2021. Connected Nation’s mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to, and increase the adoption and use of, broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
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