Organizers said they conducted the survey for two reasons, to measure existing internet access options throughout the UP, and to gauge demand for improved internet access.
The data show that 27.6 percent of people struggle to complete schoolwork, and more than 31 percent would telecommute if they had access to better internet speeds.
Eric Wedesky is a Planner with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission (EUPRPDC).
“We’re comparable to many other rural areas in Michigan, and everyone is trying to deal with these same issues so that people who do choose to live in a more natural setting are able to still access those 21rst century amenities that they might find in a more urban or metropolitan area.”
Wedesky said the survey is meant to bridge the gap between internet service providers and rural communities in the area.
“Our biggest duty going forward is really working with our local partners, economic development organizations, and local governments, to show them how to use this data, what it means, and then how they can try and communicate this with internet service providers.”
He said the data show the percentage of people who want faster internet, what speeds they would prefer, and what they are willing to pay for it.
A link to the data can be found at the EUPRPDC website.