Aimed toward developing a strategic plan to bridge the city’s internet chasm, San Antonio, Texas partnered with Bexar County and SmartSA to launch a community-wide digital divide survey and assessment. According to data compiled by The National Digital Inclusion Alliance, San Antonio is one of the worst connected cities in the country. Most of the federal and state data, however, are estimates, leaving the city in the dark about where those gaps exist in skills, technology and access geographically.
To remedy the situation, city officials kicked off a Digital Inclusion Summit in 2017 to raise community awareness. Subsequently, the San Antonio Digital Inclusion Alliance was formed and tasked with partnering with the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) to create a survey designed to foster understanding of the digital deficiency.
Emily Binet Royall, a Smart City Coordinator for the city, said. “We wanted to work with UTSA on this to find a scientific method to provide more accurate data for San Antonio.”
As reported by The San Antonio Current, while Census data gives a broad snapshot of the chasm, local officials say they’re looking for more detail, including breakdowns for each of the 10 Council Districts. Released to residents and those who work within the city limits, the survey is available online and physical copies are available at community centers, libraries and public events. The survey will be open through February 2.
City Manager, Erik Walsh said, “This survey will help us better understand what challenges our residents face to getting access to the internet so that we can work with our partners to develop a plan that will lead to a more connected San Antonio.”
“Broadband internet is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessary utility. Access to broadband is essential for economic development, education, and workforce attainment and growth, said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “The city of San Antonio is dedicated to continuing to find collaborative strategies that will increase access to our communities.”
December 11, 2019
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