An initiative with the goal of improving internet access for all residents
Envision Greater Fond du Lac is partnering with Fond du Lac County to complete a county-wide survey assessment of broadband internet access and service. All residents are encouraged to complete the short survey detailing their home internet capabilities.
Broadband internet access became more important than ever during 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It became the primary delivery method of education and business connections, and many healthcare providers quickly adapted to provide services via telehealth. However, this also highlighted the inequity of internet access across our county and quickly made finding a solution a greater priority. In 2020, Fond du Lac County and Envision Greater Fond du Lac formed a taskforce to participate in the Broadband Connectors Pilot by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). This pilot program provided technical assistance to help the county become better prepared to apply for broadband expansion grants. Fond du Lac County was one of only six communities selected to participate in the program.
“Based on our best current estimates, we think that 11% of county residents do not have internet access at home, whether that be due to a lack of availability or because it is cost-prohibitive,” James Cleveland, Vice President of Economic Development at Envision Greater Fond du Lac, said. “Taking steps to improve internet access for residents will elevate the quality of life and create a more equitable county for all.”
Completing the survey assessment is only the first step toward the goal of making internet access available to all residents. Following the survey, the data must be mapped and analyzed before working together with internet providers to apply for and secure grant funding to implement internet upgrades and service expansion. Once the residential survey is completed for households, the taskforce will move on to conducting a separate internet access survey for county businesses.
To learn more about the Fond du Lac County internet surveys, please visit this envisiongreaterfdl.com/broadband.
To learn more about Envision Greater Fond du Lac, please visit envisiongreaterfdl.com.