Illinois Residents Invited to Participate in Important Broadband Survey

SPRINGFIELD, February 15, 2012 - Illinois residents have the opportunity to shape the future of high-speed Internet in the state through a comprehensive survey deployed today by Partnership for a Connected Illinois. The results of the survey will serve as key components in the state’s broadband plan that will create jobs, improve medical care and enhance educational opportunities.

The survey reaches out to households, anchor institutions such as colleges and hospitals, and community organizations throughout Illinois to determine how they currently use broadband (high-speed Internet) and what their needs will be in the future. As a result of this outreach, Partnership for a Connected Illinois will be able to develop broadband plans in the following categories: agriculture, energy & the environment, economic development, education, health care, public safety and government performance.

Participants can expect to spend about 20 minutes completing the survey and providing information on everything from their preferred Internet devices to how they use broadband to retain jobs or train for the workforce.

Partnership for a Connected Illinois, also known by its Broadband Illinois website, recently contacted approximately 50 statewide organizations from all sectors, including the Association of Illinois Electrical Cooperatives, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the State Board of Education and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help spread the word about the importance of this survey to their members.

“A major goal of this survey is to ensure that residents of rural Illinois will have access to better broadband,” said Drew Clark, executive director of Partnership for a Connected Illinois. “By developing a statewide strategy for better broadband, we’re creating a future that includes enhanced economic opportunities, increased availability of educational tools, and higher-quality health care for Illinois residents.”

Lt. Governor Shelia Simon has also shown support for the survey and particularly urges rural residents to participate.

  “Rural Illinoisans need affordable, high-speed Internet access to land new employers, expand educational opportunities and improve health care,” said Simon, who chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. “I encourage my neighbors in Southern Illinois to participate in this research project to ensure that we are a part of the state’s broadband strategy and can compete in the 21st century economy.”

Partnership for a Connected Illinois is working with the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs and Strategic Networks Group to conduct the survey and develop the broadband plans. The ultimate goal is to find opportunities for the best available broadband technology and high-speed Internet throughout Illinois. These investments will be a transformative investment for Illinois 21st century competiveness. PCI is conducting this research on behalf of the state in order to position Illinois to be a nationwide leader in job creation, economic growth, and investment in education.

The survey will begin deployment electronically on Feb. 15 with assistance from statewide broadband stakeholders.  The survey is open to the general public and can be accessed on the Broadband Illinois website. To participate in the survey, visit www.broadbandillinois.org, click the “Research” tab, and then click the “High Speed Internet Usage Study” link (this survey is now closed).  Contact broadbandoffice@broadbandillinois.org or visit http:broadbandillinois.org/research.html to learn more.

CONTACT: Roxana Ryan, Communications Specialist, roxana.ryan@broadbandillinois.org, 217-690-8006

Tags: Drew Clark, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Internet usage, rural Illinois, Shelia Simon, Strategic Networks Group, survey

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