TestIT and the importance of rural internet connectivity

Poor internet speed and access can be a big barrier to commerce, healthcare and education in rural North Dakota. Now you can play a small part in helping collaborations like the Rural LISC network determine how connectivity could be improved in your community.

LSSND is an affiliate of the national Rural LISC network. Rural LISC is a group of organizations from across the country who all have as their shared mission, the improvement of and investment in rural America.

Rural LISC has partnered with the National Association of Counties, National Association of Development Organizations and Rural Community Assistance Program to capture data that will help push the national conversation forward about the importance of rural broadband internet connectivity. To gather this data, they have developed a phone-based app to capture real time internet speeds from across rural America. The app is called “TestIT”.

For this effort to work, they need individuals living throughout North Dakota, and especially those in rural America, to help measure the availability of the internet connection where they live and work.

The Importance of Broadband

Good broadband access is needed by Lutheran Social Services to be able to do the work we do in rural North Dakota. We rely heavily on this backbone service to deliver mental health care, work interactively with colleagues, and effectively share and secure our information.

We believe that there is power in this kind of from-the-ground data to make real change happen and have encouraged our staff to participate in the data collection program. We hope that individuals throughout the state will consider joining as well.

The data collected by Rural LISC is available online for review. It includes a map, broken out by state, that includes the average download and upload speed based on the data shared.

If you’re interested in, it is pretty simple to participate in just two steps.

Using the App

To participate in the Rural LISC rural broadband internet connectivity study:

1. Download the App. You can go to the app store of your choice and download the app called “TestIT” to your mobile device (including Android-based tablets or iPads).

Google Play Store for Android App Store for iOS

2. Once you have the app, to participate you just open the app and click the “test speed” button.

Once you click the “test speed” button, the app then measures and captures the internet speed from wherever you are and automatically enters it into their national database.

You can do it multiple times, from any location. In fact, you’re encouraged to do so. The more data, the better.

We hope you will consider participating and helping to move the national conversation on rural broadband connectivity forward.

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