Ogden seeking info on internet accessibility, speeds to bridge digital divide
OGDEN — In a bid to help broaden internet access, the City of Ogden is gathering information from the public on internet accessibility, internet speed and more.
“We’re really just trying to find the areas that are underserved, unserved for digital access,” said Mike McBride, communications rep for Mayor Mike Caldwell. The aim is to identify gaps in service and fill them “so we have nobody left behind.”
The survey is online at surveymonkey.com/r/connectogden. “This survey will help us know what the internet looks like for you right now and guide us in closing the gap between those with and without access to the digital world,” reads a post on the City of Ogden Facebook page.
Likewise, the city posted a link on its Facebook page to a Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity website, business.utah.gov/broadband/speed-test/#test, that can test users’ internet speed. The state is using the information to create service maps that “will help your community in efforts to get grants and other support to improve broadband,” the website reads.
In related news, Connext announced last week that it is building a fiber-optic network in Ogden, which would boost internet options. McBride, though, said officials potentially envision even more. “It’s not our hope to have just a single agency,” he said.
With the information from the survey, costing $60,000 and funded by the state, contractor Horrocks Engineers will craft a plan, probably by August, helping identify a plan to bridge Ogden’s digital divide. The Ogden effort stems from the Utah Broadband Center‘s Connecting Utah initiative, meant to broaden internet access and make it more affordable.