Use app to help your county improve internet speed

OKEECHOBEE — Want faster internet in your community? There’s an app that can prove the need for improvements in the rural areas.

“As a board member for both the Florida Association of Counties along with the Small County Coalition, I am working with the governor’s office and Mario Rubio at Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to help the governor in our quest to help broadband issues throughout Florida,” explained Okeechobee County Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs.

Heres what community members can do to help:
• Go to the App Store on your cellphone. Download the free TestIT app on your phone from the National Association of Counties (NACo).
• Tap the app to run a test, those results will be reported back to Florida as per speeds and availability.

Your assistance will help in the improvement of the National Broadband Map used by the FCC to determine broadband availability and potential grant applications for those with low accessibility, explained Burroughs.

To download the mobile app, visit

According to the NACo website, accurate connectivity data is the foundation for investments in broadband infrastructure.

“Unfortunately, connectivity data provided to the Federal Communications Commission is often inaccurate and inflated — leaving many rural communities overlooked and disconnected,” the website explains.

“NACo has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) and Farm Credit to develop a mobile app designed to identify areas with low or no connectivity to help ensure adequate funding for broadband infrastructure is provided across the country.

“TestIT is an iOS/Android mobile app that leverages a broadband sampling tool designed by Measurement Lab (MLab) to aggregate broadband speeds across the country from app users. With the press of a single button, users will be able to test their broadband speed from anywhere. Additionally, users will be able to compare their internet speeds to the national average and minimum standards established by the Federal Communications System. No personal information will be collected through this mobile app.

“A snapshot of each sample will be sent to a database which will allow NACo and partners to analyze connectivity data across the country. The data collected through this app will help identify areas where broadband service is overstated and underfunded by comparing the data to the National Broadband Map.

“Your help identifying gaps in our nation’s broadband coverage is critical to making substantive changes to the process for reporting broadband service. We hope you will help shed light on this critically important issue and encourage your friends, family and constituents to join in the efforts as well!”

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