A new app is letting residents of some counties help their communities identify areas where broadband is not available.
The app, TestIT, was developed by the National Association of Counties, of which Hamilton County is a member.
TestIT is available for iOS and Android devices and allows mobile users to test their broadband speed from anywhere, helping to identify areas with low or no internet connectivity.
Now, Hamilton County officials are asking residents to download the app to see where connectivity issues lie.
“Believe it or not, there are some places in Hamilton County, even within the city limits, that are below the national average for broadband speed and some that are below the federal minimum standard,” said Kenton Ward, Hamilton County surveyor and a member of the NACo Board of Directors. “A lack of high-speed internet is hurting small businesses in rural America. It also limits students’ ability to get online and for sick patients to get medical consultation locally unavailable.”
NACo states that outdated broadband mapping techniques limit Congress’ ability to accurately identify and fund broadband resources across much of the nation.
“Our lives and futures have become inextricably tied to technology,” said George Kakasuleff, president of Hamilton County Farm Bureau. “Without access to high-speed internet, many of our rural communities are becoming increasingly isolated and left behind. We need to do a better job of bridging the digital divide.”