Doña Ana Broadband, DAB, a multi-agency collaborative working to connect households and businesses throughout Doña Ana County, launched a survey on Oct. 1 that requires the participation of both residents and business owners.
Fast, reliable Internet will enable our community to learn online, access telehealth, explore new careers, innovate, and develop unprecedented opportunities. To build a plan to expand our broadband network, all residents are encouraged to participate. “You can take the brief survey in English, at www.donaanabroadband.com or Spanish, at www.donaanabroadband.com/nuestra, to help us develop a plan that includes you and your neighbors,” Bob Bunting, Doña Ana County IT Director said.
The survey aims to pinpoint where people currently have Internet, its speed, where people do not have access and why, more accurately. “The current information we have is like a blurry picture of access to the internet. By taking this survey, residents and businesses can help us see a sharper picture in all areas of the County,” Bunting said.
“For best results, household residents and business owners should fill out the survey on their desktop computer, at their respective locations, because the survey includes a speed test. This test is important because it reveals where the speed of internet access is slow and needs to be improved,” Bunting said.
“If there are no computers at home, and a tablet or a phone is normally used to access the Internet, please take the survey on that device,” Bunting said. “It is key that we get a survey response from every resident and business. If you lack internet access, please answer the ‘no access’ survey. You may request a copy at any municipal government location, clinic or by accessing the link at www.donaanabroadband.com.” Participants can either enter responses online with someone’s help or get a print version and send it to the County. DACC students will enter print survey responses.
The data collected will help guide a broadband expansion plan for the County which will take three to five years to complete, money from different investors, and community-wide resources. An initiative of this magnitude takes collaboration from every sector and DAB includes representation from municipal governments, non-profits, business and volunteers throughout our community, including The Borderplex Alliance, the El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, NMSU and DACC.
The Cities of Anthony, Las Cruces and Sunland Park, Town of Mesilla, and the Village of Hatch will offer help filling out the survey to people who currently do not have access to the internet.
DAB partners created communications to spread the word about the importance of residents throughout the county completing the survey. Representatives from the City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County and Success Partnership developed flyers and social media posts, listing locations where people who do not have access to reliable high-speed internet can get help filling out the survey.
Clinica de Familia, Ben Archer Clinics and Health and Human Services promotoras will offer help with in-person surveys. The Community Learning Network developed the survey tool, a website and print versions of the survey for people without access, to facilitate participation.
DAB is a public-private regional partnership formed to develop and implement a plan to increase access to affordable, efficient broadband, especially to Doña Ana County’s underserved communities, by December 2024.
“DAB’s work is a multi-year effort that involves research, development, and implementation. This broadband survey is an early step and part of the research needed to inform long-range infrastructure plans, across the County,” Bunting said. “We look forward to everyone’s survey participation so we can plan a connected Doña Ana County.”
For more information about Doña Ana County, please visit www.donaanacounty.org.