The Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast has launched a Tri-County internet needs assessment survey and speed test campaign for the public to self-report their internet experience and speed at home, work, or wherever they connect. The campaign is an integral part of an effort funded by the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) to develop a regional approach to identifying gaps in broadband infrastructure and areas of need, accelerate broadband deployment, and catalyze a local response to digital equity issues.
Data from the survey and speed test campaign will be mapped by GEO Partners, LLC., a geospatial engineering firm, and used to identify areas in the county with low or no access to high-speed internet. Within this test, individuals can also identify areas with low or no service or where access to the internet is unaffordable.
The needs assessment survey for Santa Barbara County was completed in June 2022 as a component of the Santa Barbara County Broadband Strategic Plan. Residents of Santa Barbara County are asked to submit speed tests to continue crowdsourcing data for regional planning.
Residents of Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties are encouraged to go to Needs Assessment – BCPC Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast to take the assessment on a personal computer or laptop at home, at work, or wherever they connect.
In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed historic legislation, Broadband for All, to advance the State’s commitment to bring affordable access to high-speed internet service across California. The information collected through the Tri-County survey and speed test will be used to seek funding to improve affordable access to high-performing internet across the region to improve digital inclusion. The collection of speed test data is critical to achieving the following:
- Design of broadband infrastructure that interconnects communities and households through middle-mile networks and local last-mile priorities to increase capacity, redundancy, and resiliency for disaster preparedness and to encourage industry competition.
- Advance digital inclusion work efforts that improve access to affordable broadband and provide the necessary tools and training to connect residents with social, economic, and democratic opportunities afforded by internet access.
- Maintenance of a Geographic Information System (GIS) that leverages public input and project data to identify priorities for infrastructure projects and compiles scenarios for organization and execution to provide action steps for public and private efforts.
Data will be collected throughout the tri-county region through mid-2023, with a planned extension of data collection throughout the year and into early 2024. The data collected over the next two months will prioritize action for the investments in Last Mile infrastructure for anticipated funds to be received next year.
ABOUT THE BROADBAND CONSORTIUM PACIFIC COAST The Broadband Consortium Pacific Coast (BCPC) is one of several strategic initiatives conducted by the Economic Development Collaborative. The Consortium was formed in 2014 and is funded by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), serving as an advocate for broadband deployment and adoption across Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.