The ConnectHome initiative is a collaboration between communities, the private sector, and the Federal Government to expand high-speed Internet access to more families across the country. The initiative is bringing affordable broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and electronic devices to thousands of low income households living in HUD-assisted housing. ConnectHome has launched in 28 communities across the United States, including metropolitan areas, cities, counties, and a tribal nation.
HUD is partnering with an external research team (Insight Policy Research) to evaluate the ConnectHome program. The evaluation includes a baseline access survey, telephone survey and process study to understand how sites approach early implementation of the program, gain insights as to practice challenges and breakthroughs in these settings, and to understand early outcomes.
Baseline Access Survey on the ConnectHome Evaluation
As a first-step in assessing the success of ConnectHome in bringing high-speed Internet to Americans across the country, HUD administered a Baseline Internet Access Survey. The purpose of the survey was to obtain baseline measures of in-home high speed Internet access in public housing communities targeted for ConnectHome services prior to implementation of the initiative. The baseline survey, administered to 22 of the 28 communities, measured how many households had Internet access in the home, types of devices used to connect to the Internet, and reasons for lack of Internet access among households not connected. This brief provides a summary of the results of this Baseline Internet Access Survey of ConnectHome communities. In early 2017 we will follow-up the Baseline Internet Access Survey of ConnectHome communities with focus group discussions in 5 ConnectHome sites. These focus group discussions are intended to conduct “deep dives” on themes that emerged from the baseline surveys of internet access and internet subscribers. Lastly, in 2017 we will end the ConnectHome evaluation with a phone survey of recent ConnectHome Internet subscribers to assess how public housing residents are using the Internet, their experiences with the Internet, and how Internet access has affected their lives and the way they experience their communities. Survey questions will encompass topics such as the use of the Internet in the home for activities such as children’s education, adult education and training, employment, and health-related activities. It will also include questions on technical and Internet literacy, and on the level of interest in computer and Internet training.
Click here to read summary of the results of the Baseline Internet Access Survey of ConnectHome communities.