Farm Bureau encouraging residents to take internet speed test

Oct. 28—INDIANAPOLIS — Residents in rural and urban areas across the state are being encouraged to test their WiFi connections and submit results that will be formulated into a map to inform future broadband funding.

The Indiana Speed Test is a crowd-sourced internet speed test that focuses on enabling cost-effective planning and deployment of broadband.

It's being used by Indiana Farm Bureau's Broadband Strategic Partnership to help bring reliable broadband to unserved and underserved communities across the state.

Although officials have received testing data from more than 30,000 unique locations in the state over the past 18 months, they note there are still several areas lacking data.

"While broadband needs are most obvious in the rural communities of our state, there are still many locations near our largest cities that lack sufficient broadband," said state Farm Bureau President Randy Kron.

"Data is a critical piece to help local broadband groups and the state of Indiana invest where service is needed the most and to avoid overbuilding infrastructure."

The 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, 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's not affordable or available," said Katrina Hall, state Farm Bureau senior director of policy strategy and advocacy.

"New broadband maps are currently in development, so now is the time to make sure your dot is on the map. Regardless of whether you live in a rural or urban area, your broadband access matters."

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.

The test was developed by GEO Partners, a Minnesota-based company that focuses on enabling cost effective planning and deployment of broadband.

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