Hoosiers Encouraged to Test Internet Speed
Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance encourages all residents and workers to participate in the Indiana Speed Test, a crowd-sourced internet speed test. The Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership (IBSP), spearheaded by the Indiana Farm Bureau, is promoting this tool to gather data in all areas of Indiana and encourage data-driven broadband investment decisions.
The speed test platform was created by GEO Partners, LLC, a Minnesota-based company that focuses on enabling cost-effective planning and deployment of broadband.
The speed test may be performed multiple times on any device that has an internet or cellular connection. The test takes less than one minute to complete, and no personal information will be collected.
GEO Partners provides real-time internet speed data by collecting speed test information from residents. Displayed on geographic information system (GIS) layers, the data pinpoints areas that are most in need of reliable, affordable access to broadband service.
A map of speed test results for each of Indiana’s 92 counties is available on the test website.
“All Hoosiers are encouraged to participate in the Indiana Speed Test, the more locations, the more data points we’ll be able to map to highlight what connections are available and speeds Hoosiers are getting at those locations,” said Randy Kron, Indiana Farm Bureau president. “Data is a critical piece to help local broadband groups and the state of Indiana invest where service is needed and to avoid overbuilding infrastructure.”
The COVID pandemic put a spotlight on the lack of adequate broadband in Indiana, especially in rural areas. Aspire made supporting policies and increased funding opportunities to expand broadband a priority issue during the 2021 Indiana General Assembly session. Several bills were passed to better define broadband speeds, prioritize state funds to underserved areas, and make new investments.
The GEO Partners software platform and the data will be available to local governments and organized broadband groups to analyze potential solutions and aid their applications for Indiana’s Next Level Connections Grants and a variety of federal grants.
The IBSP also hopes the Indiana Speed Test data will jumpstart efforts to plan broadband infrastructure investments from the local portions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, so that decision-makers help bring reliable broadband to the most unserved and underserved communities across the state.
The Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership also includes the Cook Medical Group, Duke Energy Foundation, Indiana Association of Realtors, Radius Indiana, and the Regional Opportunity Initiative.