North Omaha nonprofit asks residents to take internet speed test

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A North Omaha nonprofit is taking people who work or live along the North 24 St. corridor to take a test.

The North 24th St. Business Improvement District has applied for funds to speed up internet service in the area and they need those test results to help strengthen their application by the end of the week.

Sharon Beverly is busy getting North 24th St. ready for the Christmas season. She says when she’s ready to use her computer at home, things run a little slow.

“North area, I’ve been living over here for about nine years, living over here and the best broadband I’ve had is south. Yeah, we need it very badly over here,” said Beverly.

Governor Ricketts signed legislation to expand broadcast internet access in Nebraska. The Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act provides $20 million in matching grants a year to expand access to high-speed broadband across the state in areas that are not served or underserved.

“We applied for it because we all know if we’re living, working, playing, worshipping in this area, in this North 24th Street area, that the broadband is weak. The upload and download times are insufficient and this is a program that can benefit all Nebraskans so why not Nebraskans in North Omaha?” said LaVonya Goodwin.

LaVonya Goodwin is the President of the North 24th St. Improvement District. The organization has applied for funds to speed up internet service along the North 24th St. corridor.

Goodwin says they need by Friday, 100 residents to help by taking a test to determine if internet speed in the area is adequate in order to strengthen their application.

“Just taking that 10 or 15 minutes, you have the power to change how this community accesses the world. You know, the internet is the highway now to global enterprise to student learning to business e-commerce,” said Goodwin.

Michael Helgerson is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency or MAPA, severing as an economic development district for a six-county region. MAPA is sponsoring a state-wide speed test to better understand the gaps of brand ban service across the state.

“Really what we hope to use our speed tests to do is to identify some of these gaps in service as kind of a community voice in where some of that opportunity might be to fill some of these gaps, whether it’s for schools or business districts or whatever the case may be or for whole communities in a rural context,” said Helgerson.

With business growth coming to the North 24th St. corridor, Goodwin says this is a chance for people in the area to make a change.

“Sometimes, we feel like we don’t matter but this is an opportunity for your voice and your participation to really bring a $3.4 million project right here to North 24th Street.”

Those residents or businesses along the North 24th St. corridor can go to the North 24th St Business Improvement District website to find the test and more information in order to help the organization’s application for faster internet in the area.

The state-wide Nebraska Broadband Speed Test can be found here.

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