Austin, TX – February is Texas Public Library Speed Test Month! Each year, TSLAC asks all public libraries in Texas to take the Texas Public Library Speed Test. The results are instrumental in determining the status of Internet access for our public libraries' patrons and helping with statewide plans to support broadband improvement.
The deadline to complete the quick and easy online speed test is February 28. Libraries can visit www.tsl.texas.gov/speedtest to learn more about how to record their results.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlined broadband targets for libraries and schools participating in the E-rate program in the E-rate Modernization Order. The Order adopted the following targets recommended by ALA (American Library Association):
- 100 Mbps or greater – libraries serving fewer than 50,000 people
- 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) or greater – libraries serving more than 50,000 people
TSLAC’s efforts the last few years to promote high speed Internet and E-rate discounts to public libraries, as well as its successful Libraries Connecting Texas (LCT) program, have had a noticeable impact.
Since the last test in December 2019, there has been a:
- 3% increase of libraries meeting the FCC standards for their population size
- 5% increase of libraries now exceeding 25 Mbps download (the minimum FCC benchmark for households)
- 7% increase of smaller libraries now meeting their benchmark of at least 100 Mbps download
- 26% increase of larger libraries now higher than 100 Mbps and less than 1 Gbps
But there is still a way to go. The most recent test results indicate that as much as two-thirds of Texas public libraries are below national broadband standards for libraries. In addition, 18% of reporting Texas public libraries did not meet the FCC’s minimum definition of broadband for individual households (25 Mbps). The 82 libraries that did not meet this minimum standard serve over 4 million Texans.
TSLAC is grateful to the public libraries who participate in its annual public library speed tests. Collecting this data on a regular basis benefits the entire Texas library community and will help the agency as it works to ensure that every Texan has the Internet access they need.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information needed to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit tsl.texas.gov.