State to survey residents on internet use to ensure access, affordability – New Jersey Monitor

State to survey residents on internet use to ensure access, affordability – New Jersey Monitor

With the pandemic driving more people online to work, learn, shop, and more, the state has launched a survey to assess internet speed and usage statewide and identify barriers to service.

Officials with the Broadband Access Study Commission aim to use survey results to secure federal funding and recommend ways to increase internet affordability and ensure equitable access.

The deadline to complete the survey is Jan. 31. Officials aim to gather information on things like how residents use the internet, how much time they spend online, how much they pay for service, and how fast it is.

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso chairs the commission, which includes legislators, government agencies, community groups, and industry representatives.

“Everything is online, and this pandemic highlighted the vital necessity of broadband service, not for some, but for all,” Fiordaliso said in a statement. “I ask residents from all areas of the state to take the survey to inform our work.  The final report will help us plan for a better technology future and forever change how children learn and families engage online with relatives, telehealth services and businesses and access information for years to come.”

The commission will issue its report sometime next year.

State officials have applied for three federal grants to expand affordable internet access to underserved communities in New Jersey.

New Jersey also participates in the Internet for All Initiative, a $48 billion plan by the Biden administration to ensure everyone has reliable, high-speed internet service.

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