Residents, businesses in tri-county Detroit area asked for input on internet service

ANN ARBOR–Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are asking residents and businesses to take a 15-question survey about internet service at their households.

The survey asks whether high-speed , or broadband, internet service is available at a given address, and at what speed.

The goal is to gain a clearer picture of connectivity in the tri-county area and support planning and possible broadband expansion efforts.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for broadband has become more evident, with residents working remotely, students attending school online and patients meeting doctors virtually. County Commissioners from the three counties convened in 2022 to consider how to address resident frustration over internet connectivity. In some areas, high-speed internet is unreliable, unaffordable or simply not available.

Home internet connectivity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was viewed by many as a luxury. Now it is a necessity, like electricity and clean water. The Tri-County Summit recognized this and has committed to surveying residents and businesses to identify gaps in internet service. To accomplish this, the three counties have partnered with Merit Network to develop a survey and promotional materials aimed at reaching all properties in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

Merit Network, a Michigan-based nonprofit, is conducting the service as part of its Michigan Moonshot initiative.

The importance of this effort is apparent in the support from the leadership of all three counties.

“Internet connectivity at home is an essential service no matter your demographic or where you choose to live,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said. “From applying for jobs, to accessing social services, and even working from home, you need a strong broadband connection to really function in this day and age. So I am pleased to see this collaboration, with all three counties working to ensure no one in the metro area is left behind. Together we can make our region even stronger.”

Added Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter: “Widespread and affordable access to broadband service is more important than ever for our residents, our students and our businesses. This survey is the first step toward identifying gaps in service so we can make the necessary investments to ensure equitable access to the internet.”

And Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans said: “It’s no secret we live in the age of technology where accessing information is as simple as a point and a click. For some communities, particularly those of color, the digital divide makes this more difficult. Access to high-speed internet can make the difference in our children’s success in school, employment for our communities and receiving resources designed to improve their quality of life. This survey and its results are essential in showing what areas lack this access and secure the appropriate funding to give those areas equal footing through establishing reliable high-speed internet.”

Visit complete the brief survey. Paper surveys are available upon request by calling (313) 625-0029.

The Michigan Moonshot is a collective call to action which aims to bridge the digital divide in Michigan. Stakeholders include Merit Network, the nation’s longest-running research and education network, the Quello Center at Michigan State University, and M-Lab, the largest open internet measurement platform in the world. Learn more about the Michigan Moonshot at

Merit Network was established in 1966 to link the mainframe computers of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, then a novel achievemernt. Merit has evolved into a pioneering high-speed internet provider to Michigan’s higher education, K-12 education, library, and other nonprofit and academic communities.

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