Speed test, survey will inform future broadband funding and planning to improve internet access in Oregon.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is encouraging Oregonians to report their home internet speed data or lack of internet service as part of Faster Internet Oregon’s internet speed test and broadband mapping survey. This information will help secure infrastructure funding and ensure it is allocated so every Oregon resident has access to fast, affordable internet service.
Congress’s bipartisan broadband infrastructure funding bills are distributing billions to the states with the goal of making equitable internet access for all Americans a reality. These broadband funding programs present an unprecedented opportunity to overcome the enormous challenges that have kept reliable, affordable Internet service out of reach for many rural and Tribal communities due to low household incomes, low population density, remote locations, difficult terrain, among other roadblocks. Having accurate data to identify where broadband service is and is not available is an important first step in helping state and local decision-makers determine how to allocate funding to deliver broadband services equitably.
The Faster Internet Oregon speed test and survey, offered in both English and Spanish, is easy, free, and safe to complete. In addition to running the internet speed test, respondents are asked whether they have home internet service, an estimate of the monthly cost, and address where the speed test is taken. This data, which is protected from use for any other purpose, will be mapped to identify gaps in service and used to estimate project costs for future broadband expansion.
“We encourage all Oregonians to take part in the Faster Internet Oregon effort. The data provided will be invaluable as our state looks to make significant improvements in broadband infrastructure connectivity for all Oregon residents, improving access to healthcare, jobs, education, and numerous community resources,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair.
To start the speed test and survey, visit: www.fasterinternetoregon.org/#speed-test. Additionally, inform Oregon-based friends, family, and colleagues to help ensure greater participation across the state in this effort.
# # # Faster Internet Oregon was launched in 2022 by a partnership of non-profit and public organizations including Oregon’s Economic Development Districts, Onward Eugene, SpeedUpAmerica, and Link Oregon, among others. The project’s partners will use this data, along with software that assists in mapping as well as in designing and budgeting for broadband infrastructure builds, to prepare compelling grant proposals for funding. For more information, visit www.FasterInternetOregon.org or email info@FasterInternetOregon.org.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, including Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Pacific Power, Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural. The PUC also regulates landline telephone providers and select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. We use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law. For more information about the PUC, visit oregon.gov/puc.