By Jalen Maki
LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Broadband Committee continues to encourage county residents, both year-round and seasonal, to take its Internet Speed Test.
Earlier this year, the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors formed the Broadband Committee, made up of supervisors, information technology (IT) and geographic information system (GIS) professionals, and members of the audience. The committee was created to better understand the county’s broadband needs and the resources available to expand broadband access in the county.
The test, made possible with funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), was launched after the committee was formed and is designed to help identify which parts of the county have sufficient internet access, which areas have limited access and which areas have no service, said a statement from the committee.
The test can be found on the Lincoln County website at www.co.lincoln.wi.us. Using the test, county residents can measure their internet speed or report an area that has no internet service.
The committee said it will use the data gathered from the speed test to “map the most cost-effective installation of internet connection equipment and facilities that will cover the entire county.”
“People without internet service are critical to this effort to eliminate dead zones and patchy coverage spots,” the committee said, noting that those without service at their address can access the site through any public library computer or register their lack. of service using a cell phone with an Internet browser.
Residents are encouraged to both help neighbors with less internet experience take the test and remind seasonal neighbors to participate, the committee noted.
“It doesn’t matter if people live in Lincoln County one month a year or 12 months a year,” the committee said. “It’s important for all residents to have ‘middle mile’ equipment installed across the county.
The committee said that although the test is available throughout the summer, residents are encouraged to take the test as soon as possible because much of the installation effort depends on funding from the American Rescue Plan. Act (ARPA).
“The sooner the county committee has information for the majority of county areas, the better the chances of getting more outside funding for the project,” the committee said.
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads the state’s economic development efforts in advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities, and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.wedc.org or follow WEDC on Twitter @WEDCNews to learn more.