Broadband task force releases survey results

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The Rush County Broadband Taskforce conducted a survey to validate broadband access and document demand aggregation throughout Rush County.

The recently published survey was conducted in collaboration with Purdue University and Assistant Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development Roberto Gallardo.

“More people had access to broadband services than we thought, but those who had access weren’t as satisfied,” Taskforce Co-Chair Carole Yeend said. “This is one of the first steps in gathering data. Everybody’s lives are getting closer to demanding internet access. There’s a definite need.”

The task force’s vision is for every home and business in Rush County to have affordable, adequate and reliable internet access. Their mission is to work with providers, community leaders, organizations and residents to improve internet access and digital literacy throughout Rush County.

A total of 512 valid responses were received and 445 of those responders gave their location to be mapped for future reference.

In total, 88 percent of responders said they had internet access at home. However, 54 percent of those said they were unsatisfied with their broadband connection.

Those who paid the most for broadband connection were also the most unsatisfied with service.

The survey provided the task force with valuable information including:

• Households are aware of the importance of internet

• The majority of homes surveyed had internet access

• Quality of service is an issue

• Current users: more than half are unsatisfied

• Non adopters: unavailable, unreliable or expensive

• Demand potential exists (home businesses, work from home, age and number of devices)

• Sweet spot for cost is between $40 and $59.99 per month

Rush County residents accessed the internet in a number of ways:

• Cellular data plan – 16 percent

• DSL – 25 percent

• Cable – 25 percent

• Fiber-optic – 2 percent

• Fixed Wireless – 23 percent

• Satellite – 9 percent

The task force will meet again in the next couple of weeks to determine its next steps. Complete survey results can be accessed on the City of Rushville’s Facebook page and Rush County’s website http://rushcounty.in.gov/.

Contact: kraig.younts@rushvillerepublican.com

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