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New survey asks businesses, households for input on Internet use

New questionnaire follows 2010 survey on broadband accessibility

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 7, 2012) — The Commonwealth Office of Broadband Outreach and Development (OBOD) and the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD) are asking businesses and citizens to participate in a survey that will collect information on broadband use as part of the Broadband KY initiative to help increase internet utilization in the daily lives of Kentuckians.

“Broadband services are critical to the advancement of our state in education, economic development and job creation,” said Lori H. Flanery, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet. “The Broadband KY initiative is working to help businesses and citizens take full advantage of existing broadband capabilities and identify areas of greatest need for broadband expansion in homes, schools and commerce.”

The public survey will be available online Feb. 7 to March 8, 2012, at broadband.ky.gov. More than 100,000 businesses, non-profit and health organizations, local governments and households in Kentucky will receive email messages this week requesting their participation.

The survey is designed to identify where internet access is not being fully utilized as an educational or business tool, and to target areas with limited or no broadband availability in the state.

The results will help build a strategic plan to promote the internet as an economic development asset in all aspects of daily life. In 2010, Kentucky joined a nationwide effort to identify and map broadband coverage and access.

Governor Steve Beshear created OBOD in the Finance and Administration Cabinet to facilitate this critical step toward expanding broadband internet access, promoting a better understanding of the many uses and benefits of the Internet and spurring economic growth. OBOD conducted a similar online survey in 2010 to collect data on home broadband accessibility.

“This is a unique opportunity for public to tell us about the obstacles they face in using Broadband internet,” said Brian Kiser, executive director of OBOD. “This program has been developed to help get all Kentuckians online and globally engaged.”

The Commonwealth has received more than $5.3 million in grants for broadband mapping and outreach programs, including Broadband KY, from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) grant program. OBOD launched a similar online survey in 2010 to learn more about where broadband is available in Kentucky. This second survey will focus on who is using broadband and how they are using it in their daily activities. It is designed to identify opportunities across the state where broadband is underused or not valued as an educational and economical tool.

“We need Kentucky to provide a voice so that we can begin deconstructing barriers and working to promote a healthy, vibrant, advanced Kentucky,” said Abby Piper, director of communications and special projects for KCADD. “This progressive program will reach all corners of the state, and we are sincere about making changes for a better Kentucky.”