Washington launches broadband survey

By on Friday, July 31st, 2020 in Columbia Basin News Regional News

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Broadband Office and state Public Works needs the public’s help in identifying low or high-speed internet service areas.

The first step is for Washingtonians to perform a one-minute access speed survey found at https://www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-statewide-broadband-act/speedtestsurvey/.

Those with no internet access at their homes are encouraged to visit a local library or drive-in hotspot in their community. To find a drive-in hot spot near you, visit https://www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-state-drive-in-wifi-hotspots-location-finder/

Washingtonians can also use a mobile device to take the survey and check the “no service available” button to record their physical address. The 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 plans.

“Imagine your child can’t use the internet to do homework, or the nearest doctor is 40 miles away and there’s no reliable option to consult via teleconference, or a small business can’t sell products or provide services online – the need for broadband access in every community has never been clearer,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said.  “Bridging the digital divide is one of the most important tools we have for widespread economic development and individual prosperity.”

The map data gathered through the survey will provide validated information for use by any community for broadband expansion projects and support pursuant of grant funding available from the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture and state programs such as Public Works Board and Community Economic Revitalization Board broadband financing.

The state has set a goal of having universal broadband access in Washington by 2024.