A recent news release from the Washington State Department of Commerce reports the Washington State Broadband Office and state Public Works Board have launched a mapping initiative to identify gaps in high-speed internet service and areas of broadband infrastructure needs in order to advance the state’s goal to have universal broadband access in Washington by 2024.
The first step is for Washington residents to perform a one-minute access and speed survey found at broadband.wa.gov. Using the easy-to-follow instructions and a simple link, anyone can complete the speed test at home using any computer or mobile device.
Those with no internet access at their homes are encouraged to visit a local library or drive-in hotspot in their community, or use their mobile device to take the survey and check the “no available service” button to record their physical address. This simple access and speed survey will result in statistically valid data and mapping for decision makers to plot a course for Washington’s ambitious broadband expansion plans.
Washington businesses and institutions such as schools, libraries, hospitals and public safety facilities are also participating in the mapping project. Key partners with the State Broadband Office include mapping technology partner GEO Partners, LLC, Washington State Department of Commerce Information Services, Washington State University Extension, Washington State Library division of the Office of the Secretary of State, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
The map data gathered through the survey will provide validated information for use by any community for broadband expansion projects and support pursuit of grant funding available from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state programs such as Public Works Board and Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) broadband financing.
Full news release available here.