The city of Portland is taking another step toward its goal of building an affordable municipal broadband internet network by asking residents and businesses to answer an online survey about their current internet provider.

The brief survey will help the city and network developers plan for potential improvements to internet services, according to a news release. The participation of residents and businesses is a key component to helping the city and its partners understand customer satisfaction levels with current internet service and how it can be improved via potential infrastructure investment, it said.

The survey is being conducted by Tilson Technology Management. Residents can complete the survey through Monday by going to https://goo.gl/FPHwlb.

In November, Portland issued a request for proposals to provide a fiber-optic connection from its buildings in downtown Portland to new municipal facilities off the peninsula on Canco Road. The city said the connection could serve as “phase one” for a municipal broadband network that would offer affordable high-speed broadband service to residents, similar to what South Portland, Sanford and Rockport have announced.

Portland maintains a fiber-optic network that connects municipal buildings, such as fire stations and schools. Still, it does not provide service to any neighboring residential or commercial properties.

The expansion is necessary because the city is consolidating public works, fire and recreation operations in two buildings off the peninsula on Canco Road, not far from Cheverus High School. The consolidation will reduce the city’s presence in the Bayside neighborhood, which has been targeted for redevelopment.

What Portland is proposing is similar to the plan South Portland announced in fall 2014 to build a 4-mile network of fiber, and a plan Sanford announced in September to help fund the building of a 32-mile municipal broadband network. Rockport also has built 1.6 miles of fiber.

Time Warner Cable was selected for the connection of Canco Road, and the city has selected SiFi Networks for additional exploratory negotiations on a potential citywide fiber network.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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Twitter: jcraiganderson