STATE: Broadband Infrastructure Office releases dashboards to display broadband survey data

Published 7:46 am Thursday, February 4, 2021

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RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina residents can now view results from the ongoing North Carolina Broadband Survey that gauges broadband availability, adoption and quality across the state, thanks to newly-released dashboards.

“We’re excited to launch these dashboards, and we hope that they will help encourage survey participation by highlighting the importance and impact of this data,” said Thomas Parrish, acting N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) Secretary and State Chief Information Officer. “The survey is ongoing, and as we continue to navigate the pandemic and respond to the more critical need for high-speed internet service, it is more important than ever to help get a more accurate picture of broadband in North Carolina.”

Around 1 percent of Stanly County residents have answered the survey.

The dashboards, created collaboratively by the NCDIT Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO), the N.C. Center for Geographic Information and Analysis and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University, are updated daily with new data gathered from the responses of households and businesses across the state.

This resource includes: a map with location-based results, a dashboard for visualizing survey results, information on methodology and field descriptions. Data is organized at the county-level and does not contain specific address points. It can also be viewed in a mapped format showing speeds and service availability at the address level on Broadband Survey Citizen Response Map on the NC OneMap – Broadband dashboard.

The five-minute survey, also created in collaboration with the Friday Institute at NC State University, can be taken online for users with internet access and by phone for users without service, and it is available in both English and Spanish.

“We are urging each household in North Carolina—in areas with and without adequate service — to take the survey,” Jeff Sural, BIO director, said. “Broadband availability is a major issue, and this data will help us provide much-needed context to the stories we hear every day from residents struggling to work, learn and interact online. With better context, we can advocate more effectively for our unserved and underserved communities in desperate need for expanded availability and more affordable access to high-speed internet service.”

Information gathered using the survey will be used to create a more comprehensive view of broadband access, guiding funding opportunities through North Carolina’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant program, informing research and policy recommendations, and supporting strategic targeting of additional funding channels.

This project is an extension of NCDIT’s Speed Reporting Tool, which allowed people to report whether they have internet access at their home or business and determine the speeds received at their address. The survey includes a speed test at the end to gauge respondents’ speeds.

To access the online survey, visit: Residents without internet service, but with phones capable of text messaging, can text “internet” to 919-750-0553. Standard text messaging rates will apply.

Residents with landlines or cell phones that do not have texting capability, may call 919-750-0553. The interactive voice response system will guide them through a series of short questions to obtain their address and register it in the database as having no internet capability.

Marketing materials from the state’s Broadband Infrastructure Office are available online for communities to launch their own campaigns to encourage residents to complete the survey.

About NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office
NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office leads the statewide initiatives to expand high-speed internet access, adoption and use for all North Carolinians and serves as a statewide resource for broadband access, first responder communications and state-led classroom connectivity initiatives. In 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 91 (EO91), which lays out directives to expand broadband across the state through a task force comprised of cabinet agencies, which the office facilitates and supports.