Residents of Cuyahoga County are urged to test their internet speeds with a new service and survey provided by the county’s Office of Innovation and Performance.
The home speed test takes about a minute and is followed by a series of questions about each resident’s current ISP. The questions include how much residents pay monthly for the Internet; how satisfied they are with the service; and what connectivity issues they regularly encounter with their current service.
The pilot program is a collaboration with the Marconi Company collect data identifying connectivity gaps and better target investments in underserved communities.
“In addition to the many other ways that we have bridged the digital divide for many years now, it will help us better determine, at street level, how to provide a connection to those who need it,” said the director of the county, Armond Budish. in a statement about the project.
The Marconi Society, through a partnership with M-Lab and the X-Lab at Pennsylvania State University, will collect broadband speed test data through crowdsourcing for six months. This information will be used to guide state and federal government funding for infrastructure investments and for planning community network projects.
“This pilot phase will demonstrate the quality and affordability of open source technologies and present best practices for communities seeking to transparently map their network landscape,” according to the Marconi Society website.
Currently, about 19 percent of residents in Cuyahoga County do not have home Internet access of any kind, according to a statement regarding the project. Lack of broadband access, the statement added, makes it “difficult for children to do homework, for residents to apply for jobs and for easy access to medical records in an increasingly digital world.”
According to The Economist’s Inclusive Internet Index report, only 65% of US households with Internet access have enough bandwidth to support video calls.
Internet service and speed test and survey will be available until November and can be found here.