Frequently Asked Questions
Step 1 – Receive Your Survey
When you purchase a Resource Rail Plan, you are provided a specialized link to a Broadband Speed Test, which you can then send to community members across a specified number of counties. Note that the number of counties your Speed Test Survey can assess varies depending on the Plan you select.
Step 2 – Get Your Results
When people follow your specialized link and take a Speed Test, their results are aggregated into the report you receive back through our website.
Step 3 – Interact With the Data
Use our interactive broadband needs assessment and map room to view your data alongside any of the 30,000 layers we make available.
Select a plan based on the number of counties you wish to include in the speed test survey and final assessment. If you remain unsure which plan is right for you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We highly recommend that you collect data representing 30% of your county’s population in order to draw the most accurate conclusions from your findings. However, we also believe that locally collected data are useful data and even a small number of survey results can help you learn more about broadband access in your counties.
Your survey data is hosted on a secure server. We do not share or sell any of the data you collect. We simply aggregate, store, and map it for you.
By purchasing a Broadband Resource Rail Plan, you will receive:
– Access to shareable and easy-to-use speed test tool.
– Aggregated speed test results by census block (the same unit of geography used by the FCC to assess broadband access) delivered as an Excel file.
– Interactive results viewable as part of the broadband map room and alongside preloaded demographic and economic data layers.
– Access to your results as part of a larger broadband needs assessment report. The broadband needs assessment compares your speed test data to data sets collected by the US Census Bureau, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Microsoft.
Take a look at what we’ve done in Missouri where many counties and regions are already underway to becoming 100% connected: https://mobroadband.org/
The FCC defines broadband internet as a connection with download speeds of 25 MPBS+ and upload speeds of 3 MPBS+. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are required to deliver Form 477 data to the FCC indicating broadband availability and speed twice a year. However, the FCC’s methodology declares an entire census block (a census geographic area with an average of 600 people) as “served” even if just one home within the boundary has access. As a result, FCC maps declare that many markets are connected and competitive when really coverage is lacking.
People cite many reasons why they do not use broadband. However, the five most common broadband adoption barriers are: cost, access, skills, relevance, and perception.
A connection to the Internet with minimum download speeds of 25 Mbps and minimum upload speeds of 3 Mbps, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In the 21st century, broadband is basic infrastructure just as vital as roads and bridges, electrical lines, and sewer systems. At the community level, an advanced telecommunications network is critical for driving growth, attracting new businesses, creating jobs, enabling access to emergency services, and remaining competitive in the information-age economy. At the individual level, access to broadband – and the know-how to use it – opens the door to employment opportunities, educational resources, health care delivery, government services, and social networks. In many cases, broadband is necessary for applying for a job or even completing a homework assignment.