The State of Maryland is conducting a survey on internet speeds as it explores ways to improve internet service.
SpeedSurvey performs a speed test, then asks three questions about broadband service. It offers a way for users to test the capacity and performance of the internet service they’re using. It also gathers data on the type of device a user has, and where they are based.
It’s “designed to gather data about the availability and speed of internet service, including to identify locations that lack such service,” the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, which houses the recently-established Office of Statewide Broadband, stated on the SpeedSurvey site.
“The data we obtain from the survey will help us better understand Marylanders’ needs as well as verify Federal Communications Commission data which will help our planning efforts and ultimately drive more federal dollars to the state,” the Office stated.
The survey comes as Maryland is about to get a big boost in funding for internet connectivity. State leaders announced last month that they will allocate $300 million from federal COVID aid to improve broadband.. As the city and state lean more into data-driven decisionmaking, surveys like this seem small, but can be one basis for how millions of dollars are allocated.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-