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Organizations partner to address rural broadband access

Published by Morgan County Herald on March 13, 2019

The National Association of Counties (NACo), the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) have partnered to address the critical need for affordable high-speed internet for rural communities across the country.

Together, the three organizations developed a mobile app that gives mobile phone users the power to accurately identify areas with low or no internet connectivity and share that information to push for change. Armed with that data, the organizations will advocate for adequate funding for broadband infrastructure across the country.

“TestIT” (available for iOS and Android) uses an open-source sampling tool developed by Measurement Lab (MLab) to aggregate broadband speeds from mobile device users across the country.

Accurate data ensures that broadband infrastructure receives the investments needed to provide internet access to rural communities. This partnership between NACo, RCAP and Rural LISC shows how organizations working together for rural communities can have a greater impact.

“Access to affordable, high-speed internet is essential to connect people and places and compete in today’s economy,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Outdated broadband mapping techniques limit Congress’s ability to accurately identify and allocate broadband resources across much of America. This mobile app will help identify gaps in broadband coverage and help guide federal, state and local decision-making.”

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