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Monroe County has launched a survey on access to the Internet. Results will be used to ensure high-speed internet accessibility for all residents. “Nearly one-fifth of city households and one-third of rural households do not have access to high speed internet,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a news release. “In the year 2022, that is unacceptable."  The survey is designed to identify barriers that prevent access to affordable high-speed internet, and locations where Internet access is not available. The data collected will help the county structure a plan to rectify deficiencies.  “In return, better access to high speed broadband also will attract new businesses to our region, drive economic growth, support education and strengthen our community,” Bello said.

The survey is the result of a collaborationof the county’s Broadband Advisory Task Force and Magellan Advisors.

Paper copies of the survey are available at county libraries.  However, county leaders recommend residents complete the survey online from a laptop or desktop commuter that is connected to their home or business router. That will enable a speed test to be performed and help identify areas where high-speed connectivity is an issue.   If a smartphone is the only means of accessing the internet, officials ask that residents connect to Wi-Fi and not cellular data, and that the survey be taken during the peak internet usage period of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The survey is on alchemer.com.

“High speed internet is important in bridging the digital divide,” said Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar, who serves on the broadband task force. “Students from the lower end of the economic spectrum, especially in the city of Rochester, are often further disadvantaged because of the lack of access to high quality internet.”