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Grow North encourages people to take internet speed test to help improve broadband infrastructure in the region


A couple of clicks on your computer could help improve broadband in Northern Wisconsin.

Grown North is encouraging people take an internet speed test.

It takes less than two minutes to test your internet speed.

Click the link, enter your address, and click begin.

A loading circle on the right side of the screen ticks up numbers as its M-Lab internet speed test calculates your upload and download speeds.

WXPR’s Katie Thoresen did the test at her house. It had around 11 megabits per second (Mb/S) upload and nearly 80 Mb/S download.

That speed allows for solid internet use, including seamless streaming, but Grow North Executive Director Brittney Beyer says the standards are changing.

“Previous to COVID, the federal kind of definition of broadband was 25 Mb/s down and 3 Mb/s up. Now the grant programs that are coming from the federal government are asking for 100 Mb/s down and 20 Mb/s up,” said Beyer.

In some parts of the Northwoods, even getting the previous standard or any internet at all is a struggle.

Beyer says that will be changing with the influx of state and federal funding to improve broadband infrastructure in the state.

To do that though, planners need a map of the current broadband situation. That’s where these internet speed tests come in.

You can take the internet speed test here.

Beyer says the more people that do them, the more accurate picture they can get.

“As you get to a better percentage of accuracy the planning is then more accurate. The other real concern inside of building out the infrastructure for broadband is that it’s expensive. A lot of federal and state and community dollars are being used. We want to make sure we’re wisely using those dollars,” she said.

The test can be taken from your home or work connection.

If you aren’t able to get internet at your home, you can take it wherever you do get on the internet.

There will be an option to put in your address and let them know you don’t have internet at that location.

Beyer says your information is protected and never shared.

She encourages everyone in Wisconsin to take the test.

“This is an unprecedented time. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build out infrastructure. It happened with electrifying the whole entire country. This is our next shot. It’s getting broadband to everyone as much as we can,” said Beyer.

They’re asking people to take the speed test before May 8th.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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