On Monday (Aug 17), Judge Joe Pat Covington of Georgetown Kentucky sent the following message to constituents…
Scott County Broadband Speed Test
We realize during this unprecedented time, the need for reliable, affordable internet service in all parts of our community is more important than ever. Scott County Fiscal Court is working with a company called GEO Partners LLC to address this need. We need your help to test the broadband speed and access throughout all parts of Scott County.
We are calling on all community members, including those with students in grades K-12 and citizens working from home, to complete a one-minute speed test. The test can be done from any device connected to your broadband internet signal in your home. Your participation is very important! Please complete the internet speed test by 5:00pm on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.
Make sure your device is connected to your broadband service and no one in your household is streaming video or gaming at the time you conduct the test. Disconnect from VPN if you use it to work from home. For those individuals without broadband internet access in your home, the only thing you will have to do is enter the address of the home with no available service.
Take a one-minute speed test to help all of Scott County get reliable internet access.
He was hoping for 2,000 responses, although some guesswork went into that number. When I spoke to him a couple hours ago, they were at 3448. Wow! (IAbove is a map of their results from an earlier day.)
Scott County Kentucky is partnering with GEO Partners to do a countywide speed test – similar to Minnesota’s partnership with GEO Partners to do a statewide test.
(Sidenote: GEO Partners is hoping to create the national active and evolving statistically valid citizen broadband map! Which would be a cool counter to the FCC maps.)
I was so impressed with Kenticky’s numbers I had to ask for tips. It turns out Joe, now a judge, used to be a school principal, which explains a lot. Here are some of the things they have done:
- Sent a mass test and email through the schools (with an easy link)
- Used all of their social medis channels and outlets
- Got some local TV coverage
- Built upon the dire need in much of the county. People are hungry for broadband
I know some communities in Minnesota have tried these things; maybe others have not. Either way, I thought Kentucky’s story might inspire Minnesotans to push again. Make it your plan for the weekend – get two new people to take the Minnesota speed test. The greater the input, the greater the decision making.
And for folks working in the broadband world, Joe’s plan after this is to continue working with GEO Partners and once he gets the results and the analysis, he’s going to be looking for federal funding. Maybe we can help Minnesota help Kentucky if there are any grant writing readers looking for an opportunity.