May 18, 2023—The California Department of Technology (CDT) on Thursday launched the Digital Equity Online Survey, an effort to better understand the digital equity barriers and needs of Californians living in unserved and underserved communities to help inform the State’s Digital Equity Plan and how to allocate millions of dollars in the years ahead to ensure every Californian has access to Broadband Internet services, skills and tools.
Californians can respond to the innovative, new online survey on desktop or mobile devices in 13 different languages as well as English, and may use an audio option to hear spoken, recorded questions to collect a wide variety of input, including responses from Californians with vision or reading impairments. The survey also includes an interactive speed test, enabling users to measure their internet speed in real time and report it in their survey response.
“We believe California is the first state in the nation to collect data in this robust way to inform our efforts to bring high-speed internet service to everyone in the state,” said Liana Bailey-Crimmins, Director of the Department. “The results of this survey — together with input gathered at community workshops and meetings throughout the state — will guide how millions of dollars are spent on efforts ranging from broadband adoption and digital navigation programs, digital literacy training and the purchase of devices and equipment to ensure every Californian can participate in today’s digital society.”
Without access to affordable and reliable broadband internet, devices and digital skills, many Californians are marginalized — unable to obtain employment, advance their careers, participate in online education or access healthcare and essential government services. The survey, which can be found at bit.ly/CADigitalEquitySurvey, seeks to identify specific barriers that unserved and underserved California residents face every day so that investments can be made to help Californians overcome them.
“We are nearing a significant milestone in our efforts to ensure equitable internet access, so it is crucial that as many residents as possible participate in this planning process to share their input,” Bailey-Crimmins said.
The deadline to respond to the online survey is June 30, 2023.
The development of the State Digital Equity Plan is part of the state’s larger Broadband for All initiative, which aims to bridge the digital divide and promote digital equity throughout California communities. The state and federal government are investing billions of dollars to achieve Broadband for All, to ensure every resident has access to affordable and reliable internet, devices, and skills training.