Digital Inclusion Task Force seeks more public input


The city’s Digital Inclusion Task Force continues its planning process efforts this month with a survey regarding the availability of high-speed internet service throughout the community and how residents access and use it.

Information gained from public input will be used to help develop and implement the city’s Digital Inclusion Plan. Specifically, this survey help officials identify the key barriers to internet accessibility.

“It is important that we get participation from as many of Fayetteville’s residents as we can, especially those whose internet access is limited, so we can begin this process with the best possible information,” said Susan Norton, the city’s director of communications. “We hope everyone will take the time to fill out this quick survey and engage with this project.”

Online surveys are offered in English and Spanish through the city’s Speak Up Fayetteville website. Paper format surveys are also available.

Copies of the survey will also be mailed to a random sampling of households and made available during upcoming public outreach meetings, according to a news release.

The first public outreach meeting is scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Fayetteville Public Library’s Walker Room. Snacks will be provided.

Those who participate in the survey will be invited to enter a drawing to win either a tablet or a laptop computer contributed by local internet service providers.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan said last week during his annual state of the city address that it’s vital that all residents, regardless of income or education level, have access to affordable internet service for education, healthcare, jobs training, and to apply for services, pay bills, and more.

“As a progressive, forward-looking city, Fayetteville must ensure that all our residents are able to participate in and engage fully with all aspects of the community,” said Jordan. “The time to act to close the digital divide is now, and our city is committed to seeking out where inequities exist and finding ways to eliminate them.”