Broadband internet survey deadline extended to May 14, public forums planned

COURTESY OF THE GREATER DES MOINES PARTNERSHIP

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has extended the submission period for the Central Iowa Broadband internet survey to May 14 and planned online public forums that will focus on issues affecting broadband access and adoption in the region.

The extension was implemented in order to obtain the best response rate possible. The goal of the survey is to create a clear picture of consumers’ experience with broadband internet service across the region and identify areas that do not currently meet consumer needs and expectations.

Residents and businesses in Adair, Dallas, Guthrie, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Story and Warren counties are encouraged to take the survey. The survey can be taken in several languages. There are two separate survey links for residential households and for businesses.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the public forums. The goal of the forums is to hear directly from residents about how broadband has impacted their lives in four vital areas, including rural broadband, remote learning, remote work and remote health care. Forums will feature a panel of individuals with a background and knowledge in the topic area of the session. 

Input from the public forums and the Central Iowa Broadband Internet Survey will help guide solutions for improved internet in the region.

The Rural Broadband Experience forum will be held at noon May 6. This session will explore why there are broadband challenges in rural areas and discuss ways to solve those challenges.

The Challenges of Learning from Home forum will be held at 4 p.m. May 6. This session will explore how connectivity issues have impacted learning, discuss some of the ways parents and students have coped with these limitations and discuss how filling the region’s broadband gaps can help remote learning into the future.

The Getting Care from Anywhere — Telehealth in Central Iowa forum will be held at 2 p.m. May 10. This session will explore how telehealth is impacting the lives of persons in the area and discuss how it will continue to evolve.

The Remote Work Challenges and Opportunities forum will be held at 10 a.m. May 11. This session will explore the impact of broadband connectivity on the ability to work remotely. Presenters will discuss how remote work opportunities can supplement resident’s incomes and the role that broadband plays in entrepreneurship.

Funding from the following public and private partners has made the Broadband Internet Survey possible: Adair County, Dallas County, Guthrie County, Jasper County, the Madison County Development Group, Marion County, the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce, Polk County, Poweshiek Iowa Development, Story County, Warren County, Alliant Energy, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Pella Rural Electric Cooperative and the Greater Des Moines Partnership.