URBANA – The Illinois Broadband Lab, a collaboration between the Illinois Office of Broadband and University of Illinois System, is launching a public survey to collect input from residents, local and community organizations, and government stakeholders to ensure that the state’s plans for federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program and Digital Equity funding address demonstrated barriers and needs.
“With an estimated $1 billion in funding coming from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have a generational opportunity to close the digital divide in Illinois,” said Matt Schmit, director of the Illinois Office of Broadband. “But we need input from the people and organizations that are most directly impacted by existing challenges. Local residents know better than anyone what the needs are, where the gaps are, and how internet access, computing devices, and related skills can impact their day-to-day lives.”
All stakeholders can click here to access the survey and share their perspectives and input about the planning initiative, forthcoming federal investment, and the work of the Illinois Office of Broadband and Illinois Broadband Lab.
The lab also will conduct a telephone survey to reach residents who lack access or skills to participate in the online survey. The surveys are part of a larger statewide outreach effort under the Connect Illinois Broadband and Digital Equity Planning Initiative, which kicked off in February.
Other activities under this effort include in-person community listening sessions in all 10 Illinois economic development regions and a virtual listening session series, aimed at reaching as many people as possible. The virtual sessions will be held on these dates and times:
- Tuesday, May 9,3 p.m. – REGISTER