SE Indiana community foundations fund regional study to determine broadband readiness

The community foundations in Southeastern Indiana, including Ohio County Community Foundation, Inc.,  are sharing the cost of a study to determine the region’s digital readiness.
The study by the Purdue University Center for Regional Development will provide a “State of Broadband” report for the nine-county region made up of Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Shelby and Switzerland counties. The Southeastern Regional Planning Commission, which serves the region, is assisting with the report.
According to Purdue, 75 percent of Indiana households have a broadband internet subscription. However, only 68.9 percent of rural households have broadband.
Broadband is an important tool for education, healthcare and overall economic development, said Fred McCarter, executive director of the Dearborn Community Foundation. “We’re pleased to be a part of this regional effort among community foundations to support this study aimed at providing the data to improve broadband service in our region.”
The report will analyze the broadband footprint in the region, number of providers available, and other broadband-related information. It will also gauge the digital readiness level of households in the region.
A public survey is open until Thursday, Feb. 28, to get input from residents 18 and older who live in the nine-county region. Residents are encouraged to take the time to complete the 7-9-minute survey to help make the report even more meaningful.