Reliably Austin
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Streaming troubles? We've made changes. Please click here on for more information.

City Measuring Austin's Tech Savviness With Paper Survey

People at computers
Image courtesy stetted
Austin is known as a high tech hub, but not everyone in the city can afford a laptop. Local officials want to measure that digital divide.

The City of Austin is sending out 15,000 surveys to randomly selected people across town to find out what kind of technology they use.

The survey is not available online, only as a paper questionnaire, so that the results won't skew towards people with home internet access.

"It's mailed only just to keep it statistically sound," said Rondella Hawkins with the city's Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Office. Her office hosted a press conference this afternoon, hosted by City Council Member Laura Morrison, to raise awareness about the survey.

The last time the city did this kind of survey was in 1998. 

The data will be used by the city to better communicate with people who live in Austin, Hawkins said. It could also be used to identify areas of the city that lack technology resources. That could benefit people seeking funding to help eliminate the digital divide, Hawkins said.

People who respond to the survey will be entered in a drawing to win a netbook computer.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.