New York state wants to test your speed.
State officials are asking all residents to log on and take an Internet speed test that will help New York map un- and under-served high-speed Internet areas.
The University at Albany’s Center for Technology in Government is hosting the test website, www.nyspeedtest.org, and all the data collected will be sent to the state Office of Cyber Security, OCS, which is creating a broadband Internet map in an effort to increase high-speed access throughout the state.
Bill Johnson, the deputy director of OCS, said the broadband mapping is a five-year nationwide mapping project throughout the 50 states.
"It’s a map for politicians to look at, which will create a factual framework that can support good policy decisions," he said.
New York has received $2.5 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding through the United State Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration for this mapping initiative.
The Center for Technology in Government is urging all New York residents with high-speed and dial-up service to take the speed test from their home computers.
The test measures the time it takes for a resident’s computer to upload and download information. The Center for Government in Techonology said residents will be able to view real-time information about the quality of their broadband connection, as well as information about the speed they need in order to access the types of Internet services they want to utilize most.
Karen Pratt, Washington County’s director of Information Technology, said the ultimate goal is to create a fiber ring, or underlying infrastructure to support high-speed Internet.
A "ring," she said, would create competition amongst Internet providers so high-speed could be offered at a competitive price and it would make rural communities more attractive to new businesses for economic development.
Pratt said high-speed Internet is critical from a government perspective.
"Many people are talking about moving business to our area, but that’s one of the questions they ask is, what is our Internet like. So many businesses are using technology today. If we don’t have it those businesses won’t come to us," she said.
To take the speed test, log onto www.nyspeedtest.org.