Nevada Speed Test - Western Nevada Broadband Initiative
Pershing County is partnering with other Northern Nevada governments to launch the Nevada Speed Test, a project to bring reliable broadband service to the region’s most unserved and underserved homes and businesses.
The Nevada Speed Test is counting on fellow Nevadans to pinpoint those locations by logging on to www.nevadaspeedtest.org, a mapping tool which measures internet speeds. By analyzing home and business connectivity, strategies can be identified and funding solutions pursued that improve regional broadband infrastructure.
The Nevada Speed Test is a primary element of the Western Nevada Broadband Initiative, a coalition of local governments that are members of the Western Nevada Development District (wndd.org) which engages in regional economic development planning. Connectivity has been identified as a cornerstone to business resiliency, education opportunities, financial literacy, access to employment and health care through telemedicine.
The speed test and mapping hardware was created by GEO Partners LLC, a Minnesota-based tech company that analyzes real-time internet speed data by collecting speed test information from residents. GEO is an independent broadband data collection and analysis firm with extensive experience and not affiliated with any internet service providers (ISPs).
The Nevada Speed Test may be performed on any device that has an internet or cellular connection and takes less than one minute to complete. Participation by everyone is essential. No personal information will be collected. Repeated speed tests are encouraged during the one-year initiative to better capture variations in internet speeds and collect more statistically valid data.
Speed test information will be superimposed on layers of GIS data for the region and will help pinpoint areas that are most in need of reliable, affordable access to broadband service. The tool can also create project cost estimates, measuring everything from topography to types of fiber construction methods and materials.
Data is a critical piece to help local broadband groups and regional governments invest where service is needed and to avoid overbuilding infrastructure.
The Nevada Speed Test is particularly timely with the announcement of the American Rescue Plan which is calling for $10 billion for broadband and other projects through the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund. At least $100 million is expected to come to Nevada. Another $42.5 billion for broadband has been included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill presently working its way through Congress. If enacted, this will mean a further $300 to $400 million to Nevada for broadband.