National organizations promote mobile app to help identify gaps in U.S. high speed internet coverage


To gain a better understanding of actual internet speeds in under-served and rural areas across the United States, the National Association of Counties (NACo)Rural LISC and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) have partnered to develop a free mobile app called TestIT mobile app. The app measures downloads and uploads, and determines whether the connection falls at or below the national average as well as meets the current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standard for “true” broadband speed of 25 Mbps up, 3 Mbps down (BroadbandNow.com).

The TestIT app gathers broadband speed measurements and passes them through a sampling tool. The user can then see how their speed stacks up. No personal information needs to be entered, nor is any gathered for the purpose of this study.

There are many factors that can influence the speed of a connection, and often depending on the selected server, results may vary. In a unique public/private partnership, TestIT (available for iOS and Android) utilizes the open-source sampling tool developed by Measurement Lab (MLab). MLab was founded in 2009 by New America’s Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, Google, and academic researchers with a mission to provide neutral, verifiable network performance metrics.

The purpose of this exercise is to gather the information necessary to have an accurate picture of our Digital Inclusion progress (making high speed internet access available so that people can better themselves socially, educationally, and professionally). The FCC’s Household Broadband Guide offers suggested internet speeds for various activities.

Step 1:  Locate the iOS/Android App Store on your phone.TestIT app icon

               iOS App Store

               Android App Store

Step 2:  Search for “TestIT” in your mobile app store.

Step 3:  Download TestIT mobile app.

Step 4:  Open TestIT mobile app and click “Test Speed Here!”

              (Repeat Step 4 as frequently as possible)

That’s it!  For further info, see the press release here, and NACo’s flyer: “Bridging the Economic Divide.”

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