Surveys have become so common in this country that many people are refusing to take them, making it harder to do polls. That’s why the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia is taking a new approach and has issued its first findings.
Calling people at random to take part in surveys was taking longer and costing more, so the Weldon Cooper Center is recruiting people willing to take part – assembling those who actually want to share their views on matters of local concern: Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson, Louisa, Fluvanna and Greene Counties.
Kara Fitzgibbon is senior project coordinator for the first poll of a panel that now numbers more than 500 people. They were able to give answers by phone or online, and the first question involved Internet service.
Two-thirds said they were satisfied with their internet speed, but only a third thought their connection reliable. More than half cited a shortage of high-speed providers, and in outlying areas that number jumped to 73%.
The poll also showed cell phones are a lifeline for many area residents:
“About 50% have a landline. Fifty percent don’t," Fitzgibbon says, "but those that have a landline – about half of those anticipate dropping the landline in the coming years.”
And sixty percent of those surveyed watch television through a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. Two-fifths get their programs through cable and 25% still rely on an antenna to receive a television signal.
To volunteer for these surveys in and around Charlottesville, go to BeHeardC-V-A.org.