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Ingham County wants to know how fast your internet access is by the end of September

A white router with several ethernet cables attached to it.
Ingham county officials are hoping to hear from residents on how fast their internet service is by the end of Wednesday.

Updated on Wednesday, August 31 at 2:48 ET

Residents in Ingham County now have until the end of September to respond to an ongoing broadband census. The census will help officials identify areas in the county lacking in internet access.

The Ingham County Broadband Census was launched earlier this summer. That’s after Michigan State University and Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Merit Network received a more than $10 million dollar federal grant to improve internet access for Michiganders.

According to arelease for the project, nearly 400,00 homes in Michigan lack access to broadband internet and 27% of those homes have school-age children. Ingham County Controller Gregg Todd says lack of internet can have a great impact on the job opportunities and educational access an individual has.

"We're a very internet driven society, whether it's trying to work remotely, which a lot of places offer remote work, and if you don't have that capability it affects a person's ability to earn," Todd said. "So we need to make sure that we provide all of our citizens with an equal playing field with regard to having access to Internet and Internet learning."

As of Monday, Todd says around 4% of residents have responded to the census.

“Our goal, really, is even if you have good broadband to still take the survey, because we need to really document where our strong points are and where we need additional help," he said.

Officials are hoping for a 5% to 7% response rate and they need anywhere between 1,000 to 1,500 residents to respond by the end of September.

The census also includes a speed test and Todd recommends responders to take the speed test multiple times.

"Because throughout the day, you're going to have different users and different speeds, so that's really a way that we can verify not only if you have internet, but also that you're getting it at the speeds that you need for it to be productive," he added.

The Ingham County Broadband Census is available online at www.merit.edu/ingham.

Updated: August 31, 2022 at 2:48 PM EDT
The Ingham County Broadband Census was extended Tuesday until October 1, 2022.
As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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