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Help Us Collect Data to Improve Internet in the Canal Neighborhood

Posted on July 5, 2024

Canal Broadband Project Data Collection

Many people in San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood have trouble with slow or expensive internet. This makes it hard to work, study, and stay in touch with family and friends. To address this issue, the City of San Rafael is working on the Digital Marin initiative to develop strategies and outcomes to improve internet service for all residents in the neighborhood. 

We are currently partnering with Merit Network, Canal Alliance, and Voces del Canal to collect data on internet speeds in the Canal neighborhood. If you sign up, we will give you a small device to connect to your home router. This device will measure your internet speed and connection quality. It’s easy to set up with our instructions.

Your participation will help us apply for the funding we need to improve internet service in the Canal neighborhood. Thank you for your help!

Click here to improve internet in the Canal

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How will you collect data?

We will provide you with a Netrics box. You’ll connect this device to your home Internet router by following the simple instructions provided with it. The Netrics box will periodically measure your
Internet speed, connection stability, and other related metrics. DO NOT connect
the box to a WiFi extender.

2. Who will be using this data, and what for?

The City of San Rafael and Marin County, in partnership with the University of Chicago and Merit Network, will be using this data to help the community identify network performance issues as well as factors affecting adoption. They will use the data and insights gained to apply for funding to improve the Internet in the Canal neighborhood.

3. How long will the Netrics Box be in my house?

We ask that you keep the Netrics Box in your home for at least 3 months. After this period, you can choose to continue participating or return the device if you no longer wish to participate.

4. What’s in it for me?

Upon installation, participants will receive a $25 gift card and upon successful return of the device you will receive an additional $25 gift card. To receive the full compensation of $50 in gift cards, we ask that you keep the device in your home for at least 3 months.

5. Is this going to report what websites I visit?

Your privacy is important to us; we will not collect information on what you view on the internet. The only thing that the Netrics box will capture is Internet speeds, data transfer times, and connection status.

6. Does this affect the cost or speed of my Internet service?

No, neither the cost nor speed of your Internet service will be impacted by installing the Netrics box.

7. Does the data that will be collected have identifiable information? Will others be able to associate the data with me or my internet subscription?

During the screening process, we’ll collect personally identifiable information such as your Internet service provider, router details, email, and residential address. This information is essential for eligibility determination and device delivery. However, all data collected during the study will be kept private and stored securely. The data will be anonymized and stripped of personally identifiable information before any publication. We take privacy and confidentiality seriously and ensure that any published data is anonymized and cannot be directly connected to you.

8. Will I be held responsible for damages to the Netrics box?

You will not be held responsible for damages to the device. If anything happens please reach out to us at either (415) 758-1450 or canalinternet415@gmail.com

9. Who do I contact with questions or issues?

For any questions or issues that may arise during your participation, you can contact us at either (415) 758-1450 or canalinternet415@gmail.com for help.

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