The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement is conducting an internet speed test to help with student achievement across the state.
Through August, the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative, or GBDI, is launching the Speedtest by Ookla Pilot project to give education leaders “the clearest picture possible of internet connectivity for Georgia’s students and teachers for the upcoming school year.”
“We’re grateful that so many internet service providers and mobile phone carriers have stepped up to meet Georgians’ connectivity needs in this critical time as we’re coping with the continued impacts of COVID-19,” said Gov, Brian Kemp. “Still, too many households don’t have reliable internet connections, so the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative is introducing the Speedtest project to give Georgia’s educational leaders new data to drive decisions for remote learning options for students.”
To take part in the test, download the free Ookla Speedtest app to phones, tablets, laptops or computers and then take several tests in places where connectivity is important to the user. Information gathered in the tests will be used to help education leaders with planning for their digital learning strategies.
Baker, Clayton, Dougherty and Gordon counties – which were chosen due to the geographic diversity of the counties – have also been selected for a more thorough pilot assessment to look at distance learning options beyond the 2020-21 school year.
Recently, officials with Forsyth County Schools sent out their own survey to gather information on how well-connected students are.
In Forsyth County Schools's "Fourth Quarter Online Survey" conducted last May/June, according to 11,855 respondents, 98% (11,593) said they had a reliable internet connection, while 2% (262) said they did not.
According to 2,625 respondents to the question, 2,443 used Chromebooks provided by Forsyth County Schools, while 91 used a Kajeet device for internet connection.
In a map put together by the GBDI of those unserved by access to broadband – which measures census blocks where broadband is available to more than 80% of locations in the area with minimums of 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed – the majority of Forsyth is served except for a portion of northwest Forsyth and some other areas that are either unserved or no data has been collected.