The Central Nebraska Economic Development District (CNEDD) is launching a Crowdsourcing Broadband Mapping Initiative through a partnership with other development districts across the state, by contracting with GEO Partners LLC out of Minnesota.
Funding for this initiative is being provided by the Economic Development Administration’s CARES Act program. Similar broadband mapping initiatives are being conducted by GEO Partners in the states of Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Washington, just to name a few.
“There is no doubt that the lack of broadband in rural Nebraska hampers telework, distance learning, precision agriculture, business expansion, and telehealth. Our goal is to find out exactly where broadband services are available in Central Nebraska and what speeds people are receiving” says TJ Ellermeier, CNEDD Chairperson. “COVID-19 has shown us how important access to broadband is for our citizens, now that we’re being asked to work, learn, or receive care from home.”
TAKE THE TEST: http://cnedd.org/centralbroadband/
“For years we’ve heard that broadband in rural Nebraska is inadequate or non-existent, yet, broadband map data stops at the census block, township, or county level and report that there is greater service than what we actually have access to,” says Judy Petersen, CNEDD Executive Director. “This Broadband Mapping Initiative will provide us with “real-time” internet speeds on a localized basis, and help us pinpoint where we need to invest funding to enhance existing broadband that is deficient, or create broadband access where there is none.”
Bills in the 2021 Nebraska Legislative session are proposing to fund projects that can be scalable to 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload or greater. The results of this speed test will show precisely how deficient Central Nebraska broadband is currently in our region.
The speed test can be taken with any device that has an internet or cellular connection and takes less than one minute to complete. This speed test is more robust due to the aspect of gathering localized data. No personal information will be collected.
Testing data will be statistically valid and provide a map for CNEDD to identify what the actual service levels are for any given area in our region. This information will be an important tool for communities to plan for a broadband expansion project through the State, FCC, USDA, or other broadband grant resources.
CNEDD will be sending out reminders to participate in this speed test over the course of several months, in order to show trends in broadband speeds, and would appreciate you using a variety of mediums, including: your home computer, your business computer, your I-Pad in the field, your cell phone when you are traveling – and they would appreciate you conducting your speed tests at different times and on different days.
Broadband Mapping Initiative Link: http://cnedd.org/centralbroadband
The Central Nebraska Economic Development District provides business, community, housing, and economic development services to the following counties in Nebraska: Blaine, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Holt, Keya Paha, Loup, Rock, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler.