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Maryland's new "SpeedSurvey" website tests internet speeds in underserved rural, urban areas

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Posted at 9:39 AM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 09:39:42-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland has launched the "SpeedSurvey" website.

It can be used to test internet speeds or to report an address that doesn't have service.

The information collected will then be used towards funding future projects, to expand high-speed broadband access for students and rural areas in the state.

"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," said Kenrick Gordon, Director of the Governor's Office of Rural Broadband.

Maryland on Wednesday awarded Consolidated Solutions Maryland (CSM), a nonprofit formed by the University Systems of Maryland to provide network services, to create a new wireless network across Maryland for educational access.

The network will initially serve K-12 students beginning by summer in some counties, with the rest coming by year's end.

Participating school districts will share the operational costs and coordinate student access to the network.

The plan is for the network to use state and local communications towers, water towers and buildings in order to save on costs.

"The problem of the digital divide is an enormous ongoing societal issue that impacts both rural and urban areas. The challenges related to continuity of learning in the K12 area during the pandemic have placed a whole new spotlight on the problem," said Gary Davis, chairman of the Maryland K12 Technology Leadership Forum, a key partner in the project.