Community asked to test internet access, speed
Results from survey, speed tests will help identify opportunities to improve internet speed and cost
– The cities of Paso Robles and Atascadero, through their joint broadband strategy project, and the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast have launched an internet needs assessment survey and speed test campaign for the public to self-report their digital experiences and internet speeds at home, work, or wherever they connect.
The campaign is focused in North County to support the strategy project, but all county residents are encouraged to participate in the data collection to provide a countywide understanding of reliable high-speed internet availability. The data collected will assist in identifying unserved and underserved households in the region.
The North County Broadband Strategic Plan is aimed at better understanding internet availability and will help direct federal and state funding to priority projects that will increase affordable access to high-speed internet. Data from the survey and speed test campaign will be mapped by GEO Software which is developed and licensed by Breaking Point Solutions, LLC, and marketed by GEO Partners, LLC. The data will be used to identify areas in the county with low or no access to high-speed internet.
“With 26 square miles, the City of Atascadero is geographically the largest city in the county,” says Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno. “We commit to work toward ensuring that every one of our residents and businesses has access to resilient, reliable and redundant broadband connectivity,” “And we want to impress upon our residents the tremendous importance of taking no more than 10 minutes to complete this survey.”
The public is encouraged to go to https://pcbroadband.org/needsassessment/ to self-report their internet needs and take a speed test on a personal computer or laptop at home, work, or wherever they connect.
For North County residents, data collection for the strategic plan will wrap up by early 2023. Individuals can report areas with low or no internet service, and locations where access to the internet is unaffordable. Individuals without internet access can go to their local library to take the needs assessment test on a public computer. Privacy controls protect responses, and anonymous participation is an option as no individual information will be released. Data collected will include location, internet speed, and monthly internet cost.
Public forums for the Paso Robles and Atascadero communities will include an overview of the broadband strategy project being led by TeleworX and a panel discussion regarding digital inclusion. Panel participants will include representatives from the public sector, education, healthcare and business.
Public forum schedule and locations, all community members are invited to attend:
• Paso Robles Nov. 14 from 5:30-7 p.m., City Council Chamber 1000 Spring Street
• Atascadero Nov. 16 from 5:30-7 p.m., City Council Chamber 6500 Palma Avenue
“This panel conversation is important for our community to participate in as we work together to assess our digital access challenges and needs,” said Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin, “we are keenly aware that the success of our North County Spaceport will require high-speed broadband capabilities and look to the strategy project to support this requirement.”
In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation, Broadband for All, to advance the state’s commitment to bring affordable access to high-speed internet service across California. The information collected will be used to seek funding to improve affordable access to high-performing internet countywide to work toward digital equity, inclusion, and access.