Kentucky launches free Statewide speed test to give Kentuckians better internet access
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) -During Governor Beshear’s COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman announced the launch of the Kentucky Broadband Speed Test, a project that will gather data from Kentuckians needed to expand internet access for distanced learning, and work.
According to Coleman, Kentuckians can take the test for free and remain anonymous, from January 19 to February 18 at ewdc.ky.gov/Initiatives/Pages/KBI.aspx.
You can take the test by connecting to their home Wi-Fi service and disconnected from a virtual private network.
For individuals without Wi-Fi, Coleman recommends visiting a local library, store, or restaurant that offers free internet access to submit the address of a home with no available service.
“We need as many Kentuckians as possible to take this internet speed test, to get an accurate picture of who has adequate internet access across the state,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “The more speed tests were taken, the better understanding we will have of our state’s internet capabilities, and the better prepared we will be to repair and expand it.”
Governor Beshear also said the budget proposal he offered to the General Assembly contains 50 million dollars dedicated to broadband to areas in need.
This investment would be the first time state money an expansion of broadband.
Kentuckians who participate in the test will help find slow internet spots around the state and where Wi-Fi access and affordability is low.
“There is a digital divide in households across Kentucky, especially in rural areas, that has become even more apparent during the pandemic when so many people need it to attend school, go to work, get government services and conduct personal business from home,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said.
“As an educator, I am especially concerned about the 13,000, or 2%, of Kentucky students who lack internet access at home so they are basically cut off from their teachers and classrooms. We have to do better by them.”
Although the Federal Communications Commission maps internet speeds, its results are sometimes based on the results of one location within a census block, which can cover several square miles in rural parts of the state.
Those results are often inaccurate for residents or businesses in those locations.
Kentucky is partnering with geospatial engineering firm GEO Partners LLC, as well as The Center for Rural Development, to obtain actionable data.
For more information about the project, visit ewdc.ky.gov/Initiatives/Pages/KBI.aspx.
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