Results from a broadband survey will help identify opportunities to improve internet speed and cost
ATASCADERO — The city of Atascadero, in conjunction with Paso Robles 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.
“Reliable, fast, and accessible internet is imperative for both Atascadero businesses and residents alike,” according to Josh Cross, President/CEO of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. “For communicating with customers, advancing business automation, sharing marketing materials, and improving workplace productivity, broadband is essential for our business community. I encourage everyone to take the speed test.”
In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the 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.
The North County Broadband Strategic Plan (NCBSP) 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. We commit to work toward ensuring that every one of our residents and businesses has access to resilient, reliable, and redundant broadband connectivity,” said Mayor Heather Moreno. “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 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 NCBSP 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.