Residents asked to take surveyOctober 20, 2020
By CANDY NEAL
Regional Opportunity Initiatives is opening up a new opportunity to address broadband and connectivity challenges through a digital inclusion planning effort.
A local committee is working to compile information on who and where in the county has accessible digital services.
With that, residents are encouraged to fill out an online survey about access in their area.
“We’re trying to figure out who is being serviced and who is not being served, and how can we make that better,” said Ed Cole of Dubois Strong, who is a member of the committee.
Regional Opportunity Initiatives is working with the committee to create a plan for improving and expanding broadband and connectivity in Dubois County.
Residents are being asked to fill out the survey, which is available now through Nov. 11. It can be accessed through Regional Opportunity Initiatives’ webpage here.
The survey can be done on a computer or smartphone, Cole said. Local libraries also have computers for the public to use.
The survey asks what kind of digital services they have in their community and the quality of the access. The survey also asks what types of devices residents have personally to access services.
“They are trying to figure out the places in Dubois County that are not fully covered,” said committee member Lisa Gehlhausen of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission. “So we want as many people in Dubois County as possible to answer it.”
The overall plan is looking at digital infrastructure, devices and digital literacy in counties included in what is called the Indiana Uplands: Dubois, Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties.
“They want to look at not only infrastructure,” Cole said, “they want to know if people have the devices.”
Regional Opportunity Initiatives is providing resources so that each county’s committee can create a plan. The agency and the Purdue Center for Regional Development will work with each county to develop a county plan. Those will be put together as a regional plan. The idea is to capitalize on the broadband work each county has already to create a comprehensive digital inclusion plan that will enhance connections and provide additional tools to develop resiliency in the Uplands region.
Cole is encouraging Dubois County residents to fill out the survey before Nov. 11.
“The more people that take it and the more input you have, the better the information you have to draw from,” he said.
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