DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Do you have the internet at home? DeSoto County is asking every one of its residents to answer that question this month.
High speed and wireless are not available in 40 percent of the county. This survey is the first step toward providing high speed internet to all residents.
"We are trying to reach everybody in the county," says DeSoto administrator Vanessa Lynchard.
The county wants to know who has what.
"We're trying to identify the under-served and the un-served along with those that are getting service so we can pinpoint this on a map," says supervisor Lee Caldwell.
The board of supervisors can then take that information to major internet providers.
"To entice providers to come in," Caldwell says. "And hopefully close those gaps," adds Lynchard.
There are hundreds of households that can't access the internet. Some still depend on dial up, others have nothing at all.
The county has never had a clear picture of who has what. This survey is their way of finding out.
"We're doing everything we can to get the word out about it," Lynchard says.
The county's sending it to DeSoto schools. "Students are being surveyed online and the younger students will be bringing it home. We're asking parents to fill it out and return it," Caldwell tells abc24.com.
It's also being sent to churches, libraries and local businesses, as well as listed on DeSoto County's website.
"The success of the project is going to depend on how many people participate," Lynchard says.
The surveys will be collected through the end of October. The county will then compile the data and present it to Mississippi's Public Service Commission.