Peoria County Broadband Feasibility Study Launches Survey
Countywide Survey Launched to Address Urgent Broadband Needs and Utilize Historic Federal Funding
Peoria, IL (Tuesday, May 30, 2023)— Greater Peoria Economic Development Council (GPEDC) and Peoria County have partnered with Design Nine, a nationally recognized broadband consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive Broadband Feasibility Study. As part of this initiative, a countywide survey has been launched to gather essential data from residents. The survey results will be used to ensure that today’s historic levels of federal funding are used to address Peoria County’s most urgent broadband barriers and needs.
The potential of telehealth to revolutionize healthcare is undeniable. However, families without internet access are currently unable to benefit from this transformative technology. To ensure equitable access to telehealth services across the county, it is imperative to expand the broadband infrastructure. Furthermore, improving broadband access aligns with our community’s broader vision, encompassing various sectors such as community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.
According to Kathie Brown, the Director of Rural Development and Outreach for GPEDC, “The survey’s goal is to gain a greater understanding of community interest and the need for enhanced internet service throughout Peoria County. It will provide valuable documentation of the demand and interest among households and businesses throughout Peoria County for expanded broadband infrastructure.”
The study is being funded by Just Transition Fund pilot programming initiative to expand broadband infrastructure in rural areas and Peoria County American Rescue Plan Act funds. It serves as a critical tool for collecting data and documentation that will inform future planning efforts. The insights derived from the survey results will help identify priority areas for broadband development based on the expressed needs and interests of the participants. The findings will be shared with communities, local government officials, and Internet Service Providers to foster collaborative efforts.
James C. Dillon, Chairperson of the Peoria County Board, emphasized the significance of internet access in today’s world, stating, “In 2023, internet access is not merely a convenience; it is an essential part of everyday life. Having reliable broadband access greatly impacts the quality of life, and ensuring its availability throughout Peoria County is crucial for attracting and retaining residents. Our aim throughout the broadband planning process is not only to gauge interest and engagement, but also to create a comprehensive plan that expedites broadband deployment and facilitates public-private partnerships necessary to secure available federal and state funding for broadband infrastructure.”
All residents and businesses located in Peoria County are encouraged to participate and voice their needs. To access the survey, please visit https://tinyurl.com/peoriaresidentialbroadband
About the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council
The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council (GPEDC) is a regional economic development organization covering the Greater Peoria area spanning five counties in central Illinois: Logan, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford. The GPEDC’s mission is to promote economic development in the region through its six core programs which are Business Attraction, Business Assistance, Workforce Solutions, Innovation and Startups, Rural Development, and the development and promotion of a regional Manufacturing Network.
Director of Rural Development and Outreach, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council