Livingston County surveying residents on broadband needs

HOWELL—The Livingston County Board of Commissioners has created a broadband survey for residents of the county in partnership with the Ann Arbor internet service provider Merit Network Inc., and is asking Livingston County residents to participate.

County officials said the need for widely available fast internet connectivity has never been greater, with the pandemic prompting many county residents to work or attend school from their homes, as well as an increase in online services like telemedicine.

In some areas of Livingston County, high-speed Internet is unreliable or not available at all. In order to bridge this digital divide, Livingston County needs to gain a better picture of who has the Internet access they need. The survey developed by Merit Network will provide accurate data regarding Internet access, speeds, and costs across the county. Information gathered will help the county win grant funding to increase broadband availability in Livingston County.

“Broadband access throughout the county has been a topic of great interest for some time,” said Livingston County Administrator Nathan Burd. “We are pleased to partner with Merit to conduct a survey for our residents that will provide an accurate assessment of broadband services currently available in the County, while also informing us of the Internet usage needs of our community. This information will assist us greatly as we review all potential options available for broadband expansion.”

The survey is being conducted through a partnership with Merit Network’s Michigan Moonshot initiative, which aims to bridge the digital divide in Michigan. With the participation of Livingston County residents, these organizations will review the survey’s results to develop a realistic representation of current broadband coverage and speeds.

Residents are being asked to visit MichiganMoonshot.org/livgov to complete the brief survey, whether they pay for internet access at their property or not. The survey results will provide granular information about residents’ broadband speeds and availability to aid Livingston County in gathering the necessary information for possible broadband expansion.

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