INDIANAPOLIS — Residents in both rural and urban areas of the state are encouraged to test their WiFi connections and submit the results which will be formulated into a map to inform future broadband funding.
The Indiana Speed Test is a crowdsourced Internet speed test that aims to enable cost-effective broadband planning and deployment.
It is used by the Indiana Farm Bureau Broadband Strategic Partnership to help bring reliable broadband to unserved and underserved communities across the state.
Although officials have received test data from more than 30,000 unique locations in the state over the past 18 months, they note that several areas are still missing data.
“While broadband needs are most evident in rural communities across our state, there are still many places near our largest cities that lack sufficient broadband,” said the chairman of the State Agricultural Bureau, Randy Kron.
“Data is a critical component in helping local broadband groups and the State of Indiana invest where service is needed most and avoid overbuilding infrastructure.”
The software platform and data will be made available to local governments and organized broadband groups to analyze potential solutions and facilitate their applications for Indiana’s Next Level Connections grants, as well as various federal grants such as the American Rescue Plan Act.
“The data from the speed test can be used by grant applicants and also by the state to verify where broadband is and where it is not affordable or available,” said Katrina Hall, senior director of the State Farm Bureau policy and advocacy strategy.
“New broadband maps are currently being developed, so now is the time to make sure your point is on the map. Whether you live in a rural or urban area, your broadband access matters.”
The speed test can be performed multiple times on any device with an internet or cellular connection. The test takes less than a minute and no personal information will be collected.
The test was developed by GEO Partners, a Minnesota-based company that focuses on cost-effective broadband planning and deployment.
Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.