Study

Participate in Our Internet Study

The Internet Equity Initiative is seeking volunteers to participate in a study that measures the performance of home Internet connections to better understand Internet performance and access across communities in Chicago.
Sign up

Motivation

Internet access is crucial for work, education, and entertainment, but like many resources, not everyone has the same access or the same quality of connection. We need better data to guide investment in communities. By participating in this study, you can provide evidence that may help bridge the digital divide in Chicago.

Sign Up

Our goals are to:

  • Produce fine-grained data on Internet performance across the city;
  • Identify the bottlenecks for Internet access;
  • Help identify where targeted investment would have the greatest impact.

Who Can Join?

We are looking for volunteers 18 years or older who have a home Internet connection and live in Chicago. Participants will receive:

  • Up to $125 for full participation
  • Detailed information about your home Internet performance through a dashboard accessible through you web browser

What Can I Expect?

Screening (2 mins):

You will be asked to complete a short 2-minute screening survey. Completing the screening survey is not a guarantee that you will be invited to participate in the full study.

Consent Form (10-15 mins):

You will be asked to read and sign a consent form. This consent process ensures that you understand the reasons for this research and what it means to participate in the study.

Figure 1 Diagram of Measurement Device Installation

Figure showing the in-home measurement device connecting to a router in a home. Image created by Guilherme Martins.

 

Device Installment & Internet Survey (15-40 mins):

We will mail you a device. Our research staff will provide information on how to install your device in your home. We will also ask that you install a web browser extension that makes it easy to access the dashboard displaying the Internet connectivity data that we measure with the device and performs additional measurements of your home network performance.

Our research staff will also follow up with you via text message or email to make sure that it is installed and help with any troubleshooting.

We will also request that you complete a survey with questions about your Internet service, the equipment that you use to connect to the Internet, and your demographic background.

Device Return (20-30 mins):

You will be sent instructions on how to mail back or drop off your measurement device after the study has been completed. If you are mailing back your device, we will provide a return label for you.

What Data is Collected?

  • Internet speed
  • Internet reliability and outages
  • Number of devices in your home

What Data is Not Collected?

We will not collect or be able to view any information about your internet browsing history such as which videos you watch on YouTube, what you post or read on your Facebook account, what web pages you are reading, or what you search for on Google.

Do I get anything for participating?

Study participants are eligible to receive $125 for full participation.

Incentive 1: $50 Incentive 2: $50 Follow Up: $25
Enroll in study and complete the consent process

Complete Internet survey

Device Installment

Home Network Speed Test Installment

Complete measurement study for 1-month period

Return Device (if exiting the study after one month)

Complete measurement study for 6-month period

Return device

arrow-down-largearrow-left-largearrow-right-large-greyarrow-right-large-yellowarrow-right-largearrow-right-smallbutton-arrowPathclosedocumentfacebookfacet-arrow-down-whitefacet-arrow-downPage 1CheckedCheckedicon-apple-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-google-t5icon-office365-t5icon-outlook-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-outlookcom-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-yahoo-t5backgroundLayer 1internal-yellowinternalintranetlinkedinlinkoutpauseplaypresentationsearch-bluesearchshareDark Line ArrowDark Line Arrowslider-arrow-nextslider-arrow-prevtwittervideoyoutube