Knox County’s Broadband Steering Team is conducting an important survey to identify the extent and reliability of access to high-speed broadband internet service across the county. The survey will run throughout the month of April and can be taken online or on paper. The online version will include a speed test to document the actual quality of internet service at homes and businesses across the county.
Answers to this survey will help identify areas where broadband internet access is unreliable or
unavailable, as well as what the people of Knox County need broadband to do for them on a daily basis. These results will help the steering team and County leaders determine the areas that need additional support in providing citizens with the broadband capacity needed to grow our economy and meet their educational, healthcare and other needs.
Starting April 1, the survey can be taken online at go.illinois.edu/KnoxSurvey. Paper versions can be requested at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will also be available at public libraries throughout the county, as well as at the following locations in Galesburg: Knox County Agri Center, 180 S. Soangetaha Road; Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development, 200 E. Main St., #200; Galesburg Community Foundation, 246 E. Main St., #101. According to David Amor, Knox County Board vice chair and convener of the Broadband Steering Team, results of this survey will assist Knox County in working with internet service providers to secure federal and state funds to extend and improve broadband access.
“Affordable, reliable high-speed broadband service to homes and businesses is absolutely necessary to meet educational, business, farming, healthcare and other needs in the 21st century,” said Amor. While many of the cities and villages in Knox County have broadband infrastructure capable of meeting the federal benchmark of 100/20 megabyte upload and download speeds, much of the rural and unincorporated areas remain un- or underserved. Even many areas that on paper appear to be adequately served are in fact seriously deficient in reliable internet service.
The Knox County Broadband Steering Team is a collaborative venture growing out of the County
Board’s ARPA Task Force. Participants represent the Knox County Board, the Knox County Area
Partnership for Economic Development (KCAP), the Knox County Farm Bureau, University of Illinois Extension, Galesburg Community Foundation, Knox County Township Officials Association, ROWVA School District #208, Williamsfield School District #210; West Central FS, Oneida Telephone Exchange, MidCentury Communications, Comcast, and Broadband Wave LLC.
The survey project is part of Knox County’s participation in the Illinois Office of Broadband’s Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program, conducted by the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society and Heartland Forward.