The Tazewell Broadband Committee is launching a county wide household survey to gather information from citizens on their current internet speeds, providers, concerns and needs to inform planning efforts and guide the formulation of short and long term broadband infrastructure plans in Tazewell County.
In 2021, Tazewell County was awarded the Illinois Connected Communities grant through the Illinois Office of Broadband. This partnership between the Illinois Office of Broadband, the Evanston-based Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and Greater Peoria EDC represents a strong commitment among community leaders to explore best practices utilized by other communities throughout the Midwest that have led to expanded broadband capacity through urban and rural areas of the county. By the end of the 12-month program, Tazewell County Broadband Planning Team will have completed a community-driven, broadband strategic plan that articulates the community’s broadband vision and identifies an action plan for progress toward improved broadband access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.
“The goal is to gain a greater understanding of community interest and need for enhanced internet service throughout the county, the survey will provide valuable documentation of need and the interest among households in various parts of Tazewell County for expanded broadband infrastructure”, Kathie Brown, Director of Rural Development and Outreach for the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council said.
The purpose of the survey is to gather data and documentation that will inform planning.
Survey results will no doubt help in identification of priority areas for future broadband development based on the needs and interest expressed by survey participants. Survey results will be shared with communities, local government officials, and Internet Service Providers as part of a Broadband Summit being planned for mid-April in Tazewell County. The Broadband Summit will provide a great opportunity for community leaders and Internet Service Providers to exchange ideas on strategies for building out broadband infrastructure to underserved areas in Tazewell County.
“In 2022, internet access is not something that is just convenient to have. It is an essential part of everyday life. Having access to the internet is a huge quality of life issue, ensure access to broadband services throughout Tazewell County is critical for us to attract and retain residents. Throughout the broadband planning process, our goal as a committee is to not only gather interest and engagement, but to create a plan that helps Tazewell County communities accelerate broadband planning and create public/ private partnerships needed to secure federal and state funding that is currently available for broadband infrastructure.” David Zimmerman, Chairman of the Tazewell County Board, added.
The survey is open to all Tazewell County residents and can be accessed via the survey link at: https://illinoisaces.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aXnVwDJfbSaysf4.