Access to broadband is vital for the economic health and growth of Wisconsin. Yet many homes and businesses have no broadband access or internet service speeds that fall below FCC standards.
State and federal grants are available to bring broadband to underserved areas around the state, but in order to tap into those grants the state must identify those areas of greatest need.
To help ensure broadband access, the nine Regions of Economic Development and the nine Regional Planning Commissions have invested in an internet speed test tool, with support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). They are asking residents and businesses across the state to take the test to help establish where support is needed.
“This speed test map becomes an excellent tool for local broadband committees to use,” states Brittany Beyer, Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband and Executive Director of Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation. “It offers the most granular information about access currently available, and there is a suite of planning tools local committees can access as they prepare for broadband buildout. Every test gets us closer to a full picture of broadband needs around the state.”
“Access to broadband will help Wisconsin attract companies and workers, and broadband is critical for those working or doing schoolwork from home or trying to access services online,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC Secretary and CEO. “But we can’t do this without the help of Wisconsinites statewide. We need as many of us as possible to take a very easy internet speed test.”
The test will help determine where internet speeds are below FCC standards and where the state needs to focus on building the broadband infrastructure.
To take the test, residents and businesses simply need to visit https://expressoptimizer.net/public/, from their home or work location, by May 8. It will only take a few moments and personal information is always protected and never shared.
Even those residents without internet access can help by logging onto the site from a friend’s home or the local library. Click on “Enter an address with No Available Service” to complete the survey.