App Helps Communities Address Rural Broadband

Posted: Updated:
(image courtesy of the National Association of Counties) (image courtesy of the National Association of Counties)
NOBLESVILLE -

Officials in Hamilton County are using a new mobile app to help identify areas in need of rural broadband coverage. The app, known as TestIT, was created by the National Association of Counties and allows users to test their broadband speeds to accurately identify areas with low or no Internet connectivity. Hamilton County Surveyor Kenton Ward, who also serves on the NACo Board of Directors, says the app can help communities when it comes to getting funding to address the rural broadband gap.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Ward said the app helps meet a specific need when it comes to gathering broadband speed data.

"The FCC gathers its data from the suppliers, of course, and sometimes that's not quite correct information, so we feel that there's areas that are underserved or unserved that are not being quantified in that information," said Ward. "This is a way that we can reach out to those areas and get our own data so that when we go to the FCC to get funding for those ares that are underserved or unserved, we have actual data that we can provide to them."

The app allows users to test the broadband speeds in any given area and then sends the location and speed data to a research center, which gathers all of the information. Ward says, just in the last few months, he has found several areas throughout Hamilton County that are below the national average for broadband speed and some that are below the federal minimum standard.

Ward says the app can be used for more than just Hamilton County. "What I'm hoping for is that, especially for the farm areas who need that broadband for agribusiness now, they can go to their senators and representatives and push for some of the funding that's available."

NACo partnered with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the Rural Local Initiatives Support Corp. to fund the app. 

In March, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the results of a study which showed Indiana could add more than $2 billion to its GDP each year if the entire rural community had broadband services. Indiana Director of Broadband Opportunities Scott Rudd appeared on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick and said the state is looking to boost its focus on rural broadband access. 

Ward says the app helps meet a specific need when it comes to gathering broadband speed data.
  • Perspectives

    • Want A Guaranteed Negative Return?

      Here we go again! On Wednesday, August 14th, we watched the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) drop over 800 points.  The previous Monday the Dow ended down over 700 points. But what you may have missed is the sharp downward move in interest rates that has intensified with the recent stock market volatility. What does this mean for your portfolio?

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (courtesy: Frank Logan/Military Vehicle Preservation Assoc.)

      Historic Military Convoy to Cross Indiana

      A sentinel moment of U.S. history is playing out Sunday in South Bend when the recreation of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Military Convoy rolls into town. Approximately 70 historic military vehicles are retracing the original 1919 cross country trip which traveled along the famed Lincoln Highway.

    • West Lafayette Center Breaks Ground

      West Lafayette city officials this week broke ground on the $31.5 million West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center at Cumberland Park. Plans for the 72,000-square-foot project feature a natatorium, three gymnasiums, exercise machines, free weights and community rooms. 

    • Forbes Ranks Top Colleges; 3 Indiana Schools Make the Cut

      Forbes released its 12th annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges based on direct benefits a university or college provides its students. Several Indiana universities made the list in some “sub-categories”, like Grateful Graduates Index, but the University of Notre Dame was the only school in the state to break the top 20 overall rankings.

    • Caito Foods was founded in 1965.

      Caito Foods to Cut Jobs

      Michigan-based SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) has decided to discontinue the Indianapolis-based Caito Fresh Kitchen operations. The grocery retailer-distributor acquired Caito Foods Service in January 2017 for $217 million. The company broke ground on its $32 million fresh kitchen process facility in 2015. 

    • Photo courtesy of W.A. Jones

      Foundation Investment Partners Acquires W.A. Jones

      Cleveland-based private equity firm Foundation Investment Partners has acquired Whitley County-based truck parts distributor W.A. Jones. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.