Internet users, college students asked to help with connection speed test

Researchers hopes to analyze hundreds of tests from across the state.

Researchers at Virginia Tech are asking internet users, especially college students, to assist with “Accelerate Virginia,” a campaign to test internet connection speeds and create a map of broadband internet availability.

“Students, specifically, can help and make a difference by passing on the word to their friends and family, in person or through social networks,” said Accelerate Virginia spokeswoman Angela Correa.

In order to make the map as complete and accurate as possible, the organizers hope a majority of internet users will participate. While the test is primarily aimed at residential users, commercial customers are also encouraged to take the speed test from their business locations.

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The campaign’s goal is to collect 300 to 500 speed tests per county.

After the test, participants will receive a detailed summary of their connection characteristics and a summary of what other residents in the area are reporting about their service, including provider names, connection types, speed averages and satisfaction ratings.

The test will give users feedback about how local internet providers compare to others and help them identify alternatives to their current service.