FRANKFORT, Ky. — A home Wi-Fi speed test could help Kentucky identify areas that lack reliable internet access.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman unveiled Thursday a new "Kentucky Broadband Initiative" to bring internet coverage to those underserved regions -- and she's asking all Kentuckians to get involved.
As part of a crowd-sourced Broadband Speed Test, Kentuckians are asked to perform their own free home internet speed test between now and Feb. 18. The test takes about 30 seconds and runs itself based on home addresses.
Those without Wi-Fi access in their home can run the test at their local library or other locations offering free internet access, which Coleman said also helps identify internet weak spots.
“We need as many Kentuckians as possible to complete this test,” Coleman said, adding that the collected data will be used to map and identify where internet access is most needed.
Gov. Andy Beshear said the test will aid Kentucky’s $50 million investment to bring fiber internet to areas that need it.
“If we want to make sure that everybody has high quality access to the internet, then we need to know everywhere, very specifically, that we don’t,” Beshear said Thursday.
With the coronavirus pandemic moving more students to distance learning models and increasing the need for telework and telehealth resources, officials said internet access in all Kentucky homes remains a priority.
In August, Kentucky dedicated $8 million in CARES Act funds for broadband expansion. Since then, officials said the number of students without internet access statewide has dropped from 35,000 to 13,000.
To take the internet speed test, click here.