The Broadband Alliance of Santa Barbara County (Alliance) launched a countywide internet needs assessment survey and speed test campaign today for the public to self-report their internet experience and speed at home, work, or wherever they connect. The campaign is part of Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) effort with the Alliance to develop a countywide Broadband Strategic Plan aimed to better understand internet availability countywide and direct funding to projects that will increase affordable access to high-speed internet.
Data from the survey and speed test campaign will be mapped by GEO Software which is developed and licensed by Breaking Point Solutions, LLC and marketed by GEO Partners, LLC. The data will be used to identify areas in the county of low or no access to high-speed internet.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light what many residents were already unnecessarily enduring, the lack of reliable and affordable access to internet,” said SBCAG Board of Directors Vice-Chair Jenelle Osborne, mayor of the City of Lompoc. “The broadband survey and speed test is vital to our efforts to advocate for fast, flexible, affordable, and reliable internet service for all residents and businesses in our county.”
The public is encouraged to go to www.sbcag.org/broadband to self-report their internet needs and take a speed test on a personal computer or laptop at home, work, or wherever they connect by May 31. Individuals can also identify areas with low or no service, or where access to the internet is unaffordable within this test. Those without internet access can call SBCAG at 1-805-961-8902 to report why they do not have internet access. The Broadband survey and speed test is available in English and Spanish. Privacy controls protect responses and anonymous participation is an option. Data collected will include the location, internet speed, and monthly internet cost.
“Each of us can do one very important thing to improve internet access and affordability. If your internet is too slow or unreliable or expensive, take the one-minute broadband internet survey and speed test before May 31,” said SBCAG Director Joan Hartmann, county supervisor. “This will allow us to validate where we have poor coverage. Help us take charge to improve affordable access to high-speed internet in our homes, schools, businesses, and libraries.
In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed historic legislation, Broadband for All, to advance the State’s commitment to bring affordable access to high-speed internet service across California. In Santa Barbara County an Alliance formed as a partnership between Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC), County of Santa Barbara and all eight cities, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and regional economic development organizations to collect data and information over five months related to the use, availability, and affordability of broadband internet throughout the region.
The information collected will be used to seek funding to improve affordable access to high-performing internet countywide with a goal to work toward digital inclusion.
ABOUT THE BROADBAND ALLIANCE OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
The Broadband Alliance of Santa Barbara County (Alliance) formed in October 2021 as a partnership between the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, County of Santa Barbara, and the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Solvang, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC), and regional economic development organizations. The Regional Broadband Strategic Plan aims to identify broadband internet infrastructure and affordability needs in Santa Barbara County. Once the Plan is complete, the Alliance will seek funding opportunities for projects to improve affordable access in homes, schools, businesses, healthcare, and facilities to high-speed internet countywide.
ABOUT SANTA BARBARA COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS
The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) is a regional planning agency comprised of Santa Barbara County and all eight incorporated cities within the county. SBCAG distributes local, state, and federal transportation funds and acts as a forum for addressing regional and multi-jurisdictional issues.
ABOUT BROADBAND CONSORTIUM OF THE PACIFIC COAST
The Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC) is one of several strategic initiatives conducted by the Economic Development Collaborative in Ventura County. Formed in 2014, the consortium has served as an advocate for broadband deployment and adoption across Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.