Maine residents are being asked to help determine where resources aimed at increasing broadband access should be used by taking a speed test at their homes and businesses. GETTY IMAGES

Broadband project needs speed testers



ELLSWORTH — In July 2020, Maine voters approved a $15 million bond initiative that, with matching funds, amounts to $45 million available for broadband efforts throughout the state. Maine residents can help to determine where those resources should be used by taking a speed test at their homes and businesses.

These speed tests will help the ConnectMaine Authority and the Maine Broadband Coalition (MBC) better assess areas for broadband access. This initiative seeks to support the fact that Federal Communications Commission mapping data for broadband is seriously overstated, with many rural areas of Maine unserved for broadband. Some areas have no terrestrial (wired) internet at all.

If you have wired internet access at home or a standalone business, take the test at https://www.mainebroadbandcoalition.org/speed-test-info.

If you do not have internet access at a residence or standalone business, you can get on the website from anywhere and fill out the information related to a specific address. Simply answer the questions you’ll find for that address noting that there is no wired service (if that is the case).

If you are out of town for the winter, you can take the test when you get back — it will be up and waiting for you.

The program is up and running and it is highly desired that the test be conducted sooner rather than later – especially in those areas seeking grant funds and/or have projects that need that information. The results are visually available to everyone from the link provided and the map format will allow you to zoom in to your town — just like in Google Maps.

The test will be able to differentiate internet service providers (ISPs) — CCI’s DSL from Spectrum, CATV from HughesNet or other non-wired services — or your cell phone connection to a tower when off Wi-Fi.

For more information, contact Butler Smythe, who is the Blue Hill Peninsula’s contact for broadband efforts, at [email protected]