Gathering information to build a pathway to Digital Inclusion
Bartonville, IL (Wednesday, June 15, 2022)—The Woodford and Peoria County Accelerate Broadband Planning Teams are launching a county wide household surveys 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 Peoria and Woodford Counties.
In the spring of 2022, Woodford and Peoria Counties were selected to participate in the Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program 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 14-week program, Peoria and Woodford County Broadband Planning Teams 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 Peoria and Woodford 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.
“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 both Woodford and Peoria 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. ” Kathie Brown, Director of Rural Outreach and Development, Greater Peoria EDC added.
The survey is open to all Woodford and Peoria County residents and can be access via
Woodford County Survey: https://go.illinois.edu/WoodfordCountyBroadbandInfrastructureSurvey
Peoria County Survey:
About the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council
The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council (GPEDC) is a regional economic development organization covering the Greater Peoria area spanning five counties in central Illinois: Logan, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford. The GPEDC’s mission is to promote economic development in the region through its six core programs which are Business Attraction, Business Assistance, Workforce Solutions, Innovation and Startups, Rural Development, and the development and promotion of a regional Manufacturing Network.
Director of Rural Developement and Outreach, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council
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