Monday, January 20, 2014

California Public Utilities Commission surveying broadband access


California residents searching for broadband access can now simply check an online interactive map to find the best services in their area.
The map is part of a survey developed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to verify Californians have the reliable broadband access as reported by Internet Service Providers.
The California Interactive Broadband Map is also used to determine which regions of the state are eligible for grants from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to improve infrastructure.
The public survey is intended to “populate, or correct, the broadband availability information we currently have,” according to a CPUC document.
“We applaud the work of the CPUC to develop the most accurate maps possible so California can target its resources most effectively to finish the job of closing the Digital Divide,” Gladys Palpallatoc, associate vice president for the California Emerging Technology Fund, said in a statement.
She added the state had $90 million in the California Advanced Services Fund, and she encouraged local communities to submit surveys so the commission staff “can work with local leaders to identify areas of greatest need and prioritize funding requests.”
The survey can be found at http://www.broadbandmap.ca.gov. Users simply click on the address lookup tool to find providers that report service in their area. Clicking “Send Feedback” gives the user access to the survey, which asks for a street address and what speeds a broadband service provides.
A paper version of the form also can be mailed to the CPUC. The information will be uploaded to the California Interactive Broadband Map, which shows what regions of California are online.
Users can also download the CalSPEED mobile app for Android devices, which will test the quality of service at any given location and report the results automatically.
“These data collection efforts leverage local knowledge and empower citizens to map their communities,” CPUC spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said.

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