Solving digital inequity with resident input
The Golden State wants to hear from the public about their broadband connections and device accessibility to better understand how to address digital equity barriers.
The California Department of Technology (CDT) recently launched a statewide survey to measure internet affordability and accessibility in an effort to improve digital equity.
The desktop- and mobile-friendly survey is one step in California’s digital equity plan, which aims to increase high-performance broadband availability at homes, schools, libraries and businesses as well as support residents’ access to necessary devices and digital training to foster digital inclusion.
“The results of this survey—together with input gathered at community workshops and meetings throughout the state—will guide how millions of dollars are spent on efforts ranging from broadband adoption and digital navigation programs, digital literacy training and the purchase of devices and equipment to ensure every Californian can participate in today’s digital society,” CDT Director Liana Bailey-Crimmins said in a statement announcing the survey.
Data collected from the survey will help CDT more specifically identify barriers to statewide broadband and digital equity. For instance, some questions ask how residents connect to the internet, how they feel about their internet service providers’ performance and how much they pay for access.
Some questions request demographic data, such as an individual’s age, ethnicity, language and physical limitations to ensure as many communities as possible are represented in the survey results.
The survey is available in 13 languages besides English and features audio recordings of questions and response options for those with vision or reading impairments. Residents can also choose to run an automatic internet speed test that measures their internet connection’s download and upload speeds in real time. Residents can then report their results in the survey.
“We believe California is the first state in the nation to collect data in this robust way to inform our efforts to bring high-speed internet service to everyone in the state,” Bailey-Crimmins said.
The deadline to respond is June 30.