I just wrote about the IRBCs (Iron Range Broadband Communities) yesterday. I wanted to follow up by sharing their broadband feasibility study survey – and the email invitation they used to share it. If you are in a target community – please take the time to fill it out. (Only 21 questions!) If you aren’t in the community, you still might check it out as a model for your own area…
Take the Iron Range Broadband Communities survey
Survey targeted to residents of Hibbing, Mountain Iron–Buhl, and Chisholm school districts and Cherry Township
Not everyone on the Iron Range has access to high-speed internet, and local communities are working together to improve that access and to provide faster speeds. The Iron Range Broadband Communities project area includes all residents that live within the Hibbing, Mountain Iron–Buhl, and Chisholm school districts and Cherry Township.
The group has been supported by a grant from the Blandin Foundation, Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation, and Saint Louis County to work toward improving internet access for everyone in the area. Additional funding partners include: Hibbing School District, Hibbing EDA, Cherry Township, French Township, Chisholm School District, Chisholm EDA, Balkan Township, Mountain Iron-Buhl School District, City of Mountain Iron, City of Buhl, City of Kinney, and Great Scott Township.
The first step in that effort is to determine what areas of the project area are lacking access and speed and what residents would like to see improved. To measure the current level of interest in higher speed internet access, the team is conducting a survey, which is available to every household in the project area.
The survey is designed to get opinions on current and needed internet access and seeks responses. By pinpointing clusters where rural residents have a strong desire for broadband, we will be better positioned to attract partners to invest in infrastructure. Your voice matters! The survey deadline is Aug. 31, 2017.
Residents have two ways to complete this brief survey:
• Stop by the Cherry Town Hall or the Hibbing, Chisholm, Mountain Iron, Buhl or Kinney public libraries to fill out a paper copy
• Complete the survey online
The group would like to get a high percentage of residents within the project area to complete the survey. The survey will help the Iron Range Broadband Communities in its efforts to ultimately seek state or federal funding to increase access and internet speeds for the entire project area.