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Aug 18 -- The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is seeking comments and recommendations for possible revisions to questions asked on the NTIA internet Use Survey. This long-running survey of individuals and households covers a range of topics related to digital inclusion and other internet policy issues, including the adoption of different types of devices and internet access technologies, locations of internet use, online activities, and challenges preventing some Americans from taking full advantage of the internet. This Notice and Request for Public Comments is an opportunity for members of the public to provide input as to what question additions, revisions, or deletions NTIA should consider in updating the survey instrument. Comments are due by September 17, 2020.
 
Since 1994, NTIA has partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau to produce the NTIA internet Use Survey, an important source of data for informing solutions to digital inclusion and other internet-related public policy challenges. This long-running survey of individuals and households covers a range of topics related to digital inclusion and other internet policy issues, including the adoption of different types of devices and internet access technologies, locations of internet use, online activities, and challenges preventing some Americans from taking full advantage of the internet. The survey is administered as a periodic supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey that includes approximately 50,000 households across all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
 
The main goal of the NTIA internet Use Survey is to inform evidence-based analysis and development of internet policy generally, and particularly to support solutions that increase digital inclusion and bridge the digital divide. NTIA staff use the resulting data internally and in publications to help inform policymakers; relevant NTIA publications can be found at https://www.ntia.gov/​data. Additionally, much of the value of the NTIA internet Use Survey comes from research and analysis performed by members of the public. The academic studies and other work produced externally using NTIA internet Use Survey datasets, which are publicly released following Census Bureau measures to protect respondent confidentiality, contribute substantially to the state of knowledge in internet policy and further advance discourse among policymakers, researchers, and advocates.
 
NTIA last redesigned the survey instrument in collaboration with our Census Bureau partners prior to the 2015 edition of the survey, implemented additional improvements for the 2017 survey, and redeployed that same questionnaire for the most recent survey in 2019. In an effort to explore further refinements to the survey instrument ahead of future data collections, NTIA is contracting with the Census Bureau to conduct cognitive testing of current and proposed questions beginning late 2020.
 
Before submitting a draft survey instrument for testing, NTIA is soliciting feedback from the public as to how it might further improve the questions asked in the survey—including, but not limited to, anyone who has used the survey data or is interested in doing so. NTIA intends to build on previous work by adding, deleting, or modifying questions asked in the 2019 NTIA internet Use Survey, preserving where possible the ability to track changes over time while also improving the efficacy and utility of the survey instrument. Interested parties can find the most recent survey instrument at https://www.ntia.gov/​files/​ntia/​blogimages/​november_​2019_​cps_​supplement_​-_​final.pdf, and previous versions of the questionnaire can be found in the technical documentation accompanying each public use dataset, available from https://www.ntia.gov/​page/​download-digital-nation-datasets.

NTIA invites all suggestions of possible survey instrument changes to submit for cognitive testing. For guidance, it provides four set of questions to "serve as a non-exhaustive guide to some of the survey design issues commenters may wish to address."
 
FR notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/18/2020-18041/ntia-internet-use-survey-questionnaire-development
Separately, NTIA has invited input on design of the 2021 Internet Use Survey by September 8, 2020. https://www.aeaweb.org/forum/1614/2021-internet-use-survey-ntia-invites-comments-on-design-by
 
Point of contact: Rafi Goldberg, NTIA  (202) 482-4375 rgoldberg@ntia.gov

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