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PA organizations urge internet speed tests

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has joined with the Center for Rural Pennsylvania (CRP) to encourage internet customers to participate in a broadband speed test. PUC Commissioner Normand Kennard said the test takes only about 30 seconds to complete, and the results will “generate a ‘real-world’ picture of internet access speeds across Pennsylvania and help identify the areas of greatest need.”

Interested users can go to broad bandtest.us to test their speed and see the results. The website automatically sends data to researches, but it does not collect personal identifying information from individual users.

Kennard hopes that they will receive results from more than one million tests in Pennsylvania. He said, “The better our maps, the clearer our understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing our communities, and the better equipped we will be to identify the necessary resources to move Pennsylvania forward.”

CRP is sponsoring the research by the Pennsylvania State University, which is using the data to analyze and assess broadband availability across the state.

Barry Denk, director of CRP, said, “This project is a perfect example of the practical, results-oriented research the center undertakes to provide meaningful, real-time information to the PA General Assembly and others in state government as critical public policies are debated.”

The research is being led by Professor Sascha Meinrath, director of X-Lab and Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University. “For far too long, advertised broadband speeds and availability have been treated as ground truth, resulting in persistent discrepancies that have stymied efforts to address the economic and social detriments faced by communities on the wrong side of the digital divide. Our research empowers Pennsylvania officials and the general public with accurate information about the current state of broadband connectivity, both across the Commonwealth and within our own communities.”

 

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