BeHeardCVA

The state’s first regional community survey panel has published findings from its first survey.

The survey asked BeHeardCVA panelists about access to high-speed internet and preferences for phone service and television viewing. Seventy-five percent of panelists responded, yielding results about local access and interest in media.

Among the findings of the survey:

» About one-third of respondents indicated that their internet connection was very reliable, and two-thirds said that their speed was “good” or “excellent.” Nonetheless, 55% indicated that they felt there was a shortage of high-speed internet providers at their location.

» There were substantial differences in respondents’ perception of whether there is a shortage of high-speed internet providers near their home. Specifically, those living in Charlottesville were much less likely, at 42%, to perceive a shortage of high-speed providers compared with those in Albemarle County, at 58%, and respondents from outlying locations, at 73%.

» Half of all respondents reported having a landline phone in their home. The incidence of a landline phone varied considerably by age, with the youngest panelists much less likely to have a landline phone than older respondents. Half of the respondents with a landline phone said they planned to get rid of it in the future.

» The most often reported mode of watching TV was through an online streaming subscription such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, at 60%. The next-highest percentage was for viewing by cable, at 39%, and satellite such as Direct TV and DISH Network, at 26%. Nearly one in four respondents reported watching television by antenna.

The survey comes amid local and state efforts to increase broadband in the area, including a Central Virginia Electric Cooperative effort to install fiber at three substations that will benefit residents in Albemarle, Fluvanna and Louisa counties.

BeHeardCVA participants are part of a standing pool of residents of Charlottesville or the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson or Greene who have agreed to be contacted about surveys. The effort, led by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, aims to more easily and affordably conduct representative surveys.

Online signup for the panel is available at beheardcva.org. To sign up by phone, call (434) 243-5226.

For complete survey results or to sign up to be a BeHeardCVA panelist, visit beheardcva.org.

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