Leader Times: Armstrong County residents urged to participate in home internet speed tests by May 22

Armstrong County’s board of commissioners is requesting that residents who rely on DSL or wireless home internet services participate by May 22 in the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority’s (PBDA) broadband service challenge process, according to a recently issued press release.

Residents can go to: SPCBEADchallenge.com — and follow the instructions to identify their location on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) map and take the speed test.

Residents have until 11 p.m. May 22 to complete three speed tests that will only take a few minutes.

Armstrong County has identified 922 homes equipped with DSL or wireless home internet services incorrectly labeled on the FCC map as having access to high-speed internet. Efforts are underway to rectify this discrepancy.

Residents may access instructions via the Challenge website: SPCBEADchallenge.com.

Residents whose addresses are identified as being unserved or underserved on the FCC’s map do not need to complete this challenge process.

Those locations are already deemed eligible for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program infrastructure funding.

This challenge is different from the FCC’s Challenge process previously administered in January 2023.

Residents that submitted a challenge last year should still consider taking part in this new challenge process.

In response to last year’s federal announcement allocating $1.16 billion to Pennsylvania through the BEAD Program, efforts are underway to bolster the infrastructure required for robust internet connectivity in areas currently lacking or experiencing insufficient service.

One prerequisite for accessing these funds involves implementing a challenge process to validate the accuracy of BEAD-eligible locations.

This collaborative endeavor empowers local governments, nonprofits, and internet service providers to collaborate with the PBDA in refining the FCC’s map, which delineates regions as either served by strong, reliable internet, underserved, or completely unserved.

View the full article at leadertimes.com.