The Bangor School Department is encouraging residents to help in the "Get Up To Speed" initiative, by taking a simple speed test at home. According to their website, the initiative that was launched last fall, and set up to help direct funding to places that need to build internet infrastructure or boost their broadband signal.

"The new speed testing initiative is the crucial next step in ensuring the delivery of broadband throughout the state and will help local, regional, and state leaders develop projects and steer investments to the places that need it most. This map, along with other data collected, will help inform where the bond funding, approved by Maine voters in July, can have the most impact."

In a press release put out by the Maine Broadband Coalition, the organization behind the push, it's explained that the more folks take part in these speed tests, across the state, the better and more accurate the picture will be for those who make the decisions and plans to expand broadband in Maine.

"Peggy Schaffer, executive director of ConnectMaine, added, “Understanding the scope of the lack of connectivity problem is key to solving it. This crowdsourcing speed test platform effort gives community planning groups and citizens the power to really understand the extent of the connectivity problem, which is the first step to identifying possible solutions.”

All you have to do it click on the Maine Broadband Coalition's link and take the test. I will tell you this: if you're going to school online or working from home via a VPN, you'll want to disconnect from that first. Also, if there's anyone in your house streaming videos or gaming online, you'll want to have them stop for a moment, too, to get the most accurate reading.

"From this web site we can collect data about your broadband speed and create a map for your community that will help your community in efforts to get grants and other support to improve broadband for your community."

So, with a quick click, you can do your part to help get internet accessibility out to those who need it in our communities...which in this day and age is just about everyone. As folks work from home and kids learn remotely, keeping us connected is a definite need in Maine.

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