How reliable is broadband on Cape Cod? That is among the key questions to be answered by a new assessment of the region’s fixed and broadband networks.
The Cape Cod Commission and consultants CTC Technology and Energy and Rural Innovation Strategies Inc. are collecting speed test data to capture network capacity data during the high-demand summer season.
Cape-based internet users are encouraged to take the speed test as often as possible and across different devices and connection types.
“This assessment aims to quantify what we’ve heard anecdotally about connectivity challenges in the region,” said Commission Deputy Director Steven Tupper. “The results will inform recommendations for improving the network and help guide conversations about future investments.”
The speed test is part of a broader assessment of user experiences, and existing infrastructure within Barnstable County. The assessment is funded with American Recovery Plan Act funds distributed by Barnstable County. It is distinct from, but complementary to, the speed test promoted by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). The MBI effort is part of a broader digital equity survey in support of the statewide plan.
Both are important to broadband planning efforts locally and in the state. If possible, start with the MBI test, and follow up as often as possible with the Cape-based test.
- Massachusetts Broadband Institute Survey and Speed Test
- Cape-Based Speed Test: capecodcommission.org/speedtest
Internet accessibility on Cape Cod varies seasonally, with higher demand coinciding with the annual influx of seasonal residents and visitors. Additionally, the year-round population has increased over the past decade and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which drove increases in remote work, virtual public meetings, telehealth, and other virtual engagements.
“To provide a complete picture of broadband connectivity, it’s important that we have benchmarks that reflect the Cape’s seasonal peaks and off-season capacity,” Tupper said. The assessment will also include a statistically valid phone survey to further understand connectivity and affordability challenges.
Understanding the functionality of the region’s existing internet network and potential for upgrades or expansion to increase access to high-speed broadband is important for the region. The full assessment is expected to be completed in spring 2024.
Take the speed test here: capecodcommission.org/speedtest .