MONTGOMERY—The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is requesting information on broadband internet access and speed from state residents and businesses.
Alabamians are encouraged to take the speed survey at https://alabama.speedsurvey.org/ to help the state locate gaps in broadband service. The information gathered will be used for planning efforts to help fill those gaps.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to work and complete school from home and further highlighted the importance of having access to high-speed internet across the state,” said Kenneth Boswell, director of economic and community affairs. “Taking this speed survey will help us get the data we need to plan our efforts to help close those service gaps.”
The department administers the Broadband Alabama program, which includes the Broadband Accessibility Fund, which was created by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey. It was created to assist broadband providers in extending high-speed internet service for households, businesses and community anchors in unserved areas of the state or in areas lacking minimum threshold service.
Local providers expanding broadband access to rural areas in the Wiregrass have received several grants from the Broadband Accessibility Fund since its inception.
Many Alabama homes and businesses are likely receiving less than the current federal definition of broadband service, which is 25 megabits per second download speed and three megabits upload speed. The information gathered from the speed survey will help pinpoint areas that lack this coverage. Addresses will not be made public and information will be used solely for the state’s planning efforts.
“Access to broadband is also a big economic driver for recruiting industry and jobs,” Boswell said. “This is a quick and easy step you can take to show us if there is a coverage gap in your area. We encourage all Alabama residents and businesses to take the speed survey and help us continue Gov. Kay Ivey’s efforts to grow Alabama’s economy.”