A few clicks on your computer could help improve broadband in northern Wisconsin.
Grown North encourages people to take an internet speed test.
It takes less than two minutes to test your internet speed.
Click on the link, enter your address and click start.
A loading circle on the right side of the screen ticks off the numbers while its M-Lab internet speed test calculates your upload and download speeds.
WXPR’s Katie Thoresen took the test at home. It had about 11 megabits per second (Mb/S) download and almost 80 Mb/S upload.
That speed allows for solid internet usage, including seamless streaming, but Grow North executive director Brittney Beyer says the standards are changing.
“Before COVID, the federal definition of broadband was 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. Now the federal government subsidy programs are asking for 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up,” Beyer said.
In parts of the Northwoods, even getting the previous standard or all internet is a struggle.
Beyer says that will change with the influx of state and federal funding to improve broadband infrastructure in the state.
To do this, planners need a map of the current broadband situation. This is where these internet speed tests come in.
You can take the internet speed test here.
Beyer says the more people who do them, the more accurate the picture they can get.
“As you get to a better percentage of accuracy, then the planning is more accurate. The other real concern inside building broadband infrastructure is that it is expensive. Many federal, state and community dollars are used. We want to make sure we use those dollars wisely,” she said.
The test can be performed from your home or workplace.
If you are unable to access the Internet at home, you can take it anywhere you access the Internet.
There will be an option to enter your address and let them know you don’t have internet there.
Beyer says your information is protected and never shared.
She encourages everyone in Wisconsin to take the test.
“This is an unprecedented time. This is a unique opportunity to build infrastructure. It happened with the electrification of the whole country. This is our next shot. It’s about offering broadband to everyone as much as possible,” Beyer said.
They ask people to take the speed test before May 8and.