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Survey will inform future internet funding

The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is encouraging Oregonians to report their home Internet speed data or lack of Internet service as part of Faster Internet Oregon’s Internet speed test and broadband mapping survey. Officials say the data will help secure infrastructure funding and ensure it is allocated so every Oregon resident has access to fast, affordable Internet service.

The bipartisan broadband infrastructure funding bills developed by Congress are distributing billions to the states with the goal of making equitable Internet access for all Americans a reality. It’s hoped these broadband funding programs will present an opportunity to overcome the enormous challenges that have kept reliable, affordable Internet service out of reach for many rural and Tribal communities. Obstacles include low household incomes, low population density, remote locations, and difficult terrain, among other roadblocks.

Developing accurate data to identify where broadband service is and is not available is believed to be an important first step in helping state and local decision-makers determine how to allocate funding to deliver broadband services equitably.

The Faster Internet Oregon speed test and survey, offered in both English and Spanish, is easy, free, and safe to complete. In addition to running the Internet speed test, respondents are asked whether they have home Internet service, an estimate of the monthly cost, and the address where the speed test is taken.

The data, which is protected from use for any other purpose, will be mapped to identify gaps in service and used to estimate project costs for future broadband expansion.

“We encourage all Oregonians to take part in the Faster Internet Oregon effort. The data provided will be invaluable as our state looks to make significant improvements in broadband infrastructure connectivity for all Oregon residents, improving access to healthcare, jobs, education, and numerous community resources,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair.

To start the speed test and survey, visit tinyurl.com/4r34fycv.

 

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