Rural Broadband Coalition Launches Speed Test Initiative

August 17, 2020

Cities are encouraged to ask their residents to take the broadband speed test, which will provide data to make better decisions on broadband infrastructure spending.

The Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition announced on Aug. 3 the launch of the Minnesota Speed Test Initiative. The statewide testing initiative, mapped by GEO partners, expands on the successful mapping pilot program in St. Louis, Koochiching, and Itasca counties led by the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools.

The initiative seeks to provide more granular house-by-house broadband speed data to address a longstanding concern from underserved and unserved cities across the state that vague mapping at the census block, township, and county level has led to inaccurate broadband speed mapping.

Since state and federal grants rely on broadband mapping to determine eligibility and application scoring, it is critical that broadband maps clearly show speeds available in cities and where the gaps are to better inform broadband infrastructure spending. As a member of the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition, the League of Minnesota Cities supports this initiative to determine exactly where broadband service is available and not available in Greater Minnesota cities.

Cities are encouraged to ask their residents to take the speed test. It can be taken with any device that has an internet or cellular connection and takes less than one minute to complete. There is also an option to record that you have no internet service available at your home. No personal information will be collected.

Testing data will be statistically valid and provide a map of what service levels are for any given area in the state. This information will be an important tool for communities that are planning a broadband expansion project through the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or Minnesota Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program.

—Visit the broadband speed test website

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