Nov 3, 2021

Madison Region Launches Broadband Speed Test Initiative

Madison, WI – The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) is pleased to announce their MadREP Broadband Speed Test initiative. Madison Region residents should test their internet speed at: madisonregion.org/broadband.

The tool will show participants what their current internet speeds are while collecting necessary data for the Madison Region to pursue better broadband infrastructure in the areas identified as underserved. Residents are encouraged to complete speed tests both at home and at work.

“Access to broadband is vital for economic success,” says MadREP President & CEO Jason M. Fields. “This is an infrastructure issue that has been affecting underserved areas in both urban and rural communities for too long now. It’s time to get in the game!”

MadREP’s Broadband Speed Test initiative is an end-result of reviewing broadband grant opportunities that became available to communities in the last two years.  “It became clear that the communities that had already produced detailed connection speed maps were in the best position to be awarded grants, says MadREP VP of Talent & Education Gene Dalhoff. “As a result, those communities that had not mapped their connection speeds were left even further behind. We want to help bridge the gap between those communities that have reliable broadband and those that do not. The first step to doing that is to map connection speeds throughout our eight-county region.”

The speed test tool will enable MadREP to provide more detail than is currently available on existing maps, some of which only show internet speeds by census blocks. This can be misleading, as a high-speed connection for one address may be applied to a large area even though other nearby addresses may have poor connections. “We need more mapping detail for the Madison Region to qualify for funding and programs to improve internet access in underserved communities,” said Fields. “That is integral to growing the economy across our entire region.”

MadREP is asking their partners in municipalities, community organizations, business groups, chambers of commerce, education advocates, health care organizations and trade groups to promote this initiative widely in their networks so the Region can obtain the support necessary to help expand opportunities for residents.