Test Drive LDO’s New Speed Test Dashboard

The Library Digital Opportunity office (LDO) has a new speed test dashboard tool, and you can check it out now. See how your library stacks up to the rest!

From the dashboard, you can track internet upload and download speeds across the state. The dashboard allows you to filter results by region, population, and income levels. The dashboard was recently completed by LDO Data and Project Coordinator Promise Madu.

“In today’s digital era, libraries need to be prepared to fulfill their patrons’ needs. A speed test dashboard empowers libraries to track their performance and strive towards meeting the standards required to offer dependable, high-speed internet access to everyone who depends on them, thereby bridging the digital divide, ” Madu said.

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) increased the standards for what constitutes “broadband” to 100 Mbps download. Through our speed test tracking, LDO has determined that a significant number of Texas’ public libraries fail to reach the previously set minimum threshold of 25 Mbps download.  As federal legislation prioritizes fiber technology, LDO has set 1000 Mbps, or 1 Gbps,  as an aspirational goal for all libraries seeking to support their communities and support their own digital opportunity services and programming.

A digital map of Texas showing individual public library internet speeds and using color coding to determine if they meet FCC standards.

With LDO’s speed test results, individual libraries can determine if they are below the FCC’s minimum standards for households and for libraries their size, as well as raise awareness of the new benchmarks. This could assist them in requesting funding assistance to improve their connectivity and help them work towards providing a more consistent quality of service. Leading the charge on these new initiatives is LDO’s Digital Opportunity Program Coordinator, Henry Stokes.

“Public libraries are often a community’s only source of free internet. They are also the best potential option for learning the necessary skills to make use of the technology required to access the internet.  Libraries have a long history of providing frontline support for their patrons’ digital opportunity needs—whether it’s publicly available computers, fast Internet access, or digital literacy training”

– Henry Stokes

LDO intends to use the speed test data to inform our upcoming collaboration with the Texas State Broadband Development Office (BDO), supporting their statewide efforts to track outcomes in the categories of availability and affordability of fixed broadband technology to advance state policy priorities such as economic and workforce development, education access and advancement, health improvement, and civic engagement.

If you want more information about the dashboard or digital opportunities that are available to you, email the LDO team at LDO@tsl.texas.gov.

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