The American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland College Park are extending the deadline for public libraries to gauge the quality of public access to the internet until August 8. The speed test study is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and is supported by the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, the Public Library Association, and the Urban Libraries Council.
The new study will complement findings from the 2013-2014 Digital Inclusion Survey released last week, providing a snapshot of the broadband speed a library patron experiences at the device level (pdf or png). Taken together, the data will help inform the Federal Communications Commission’s current E-rate proceeding, including questions about future funding needs.
This new data collection effort will seek responses from a sample of about 1,000 libraries, while allowing any library to capture the broadband speed data for their advocacy use. No software needs to be downloaded, and libraries will be asked to run the speed test at least twice during open hours.
Libraries can log on at digitalinclusion.pnmi.com/speedtest before August 8 to capture data. Results from the speed test study will be published in September 2014.