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You can take part in Cape broadband speed test

The speed test takes about one minute and tells you your upload and download speed.

Officials at the Cape Cod Commission are studying how well broadband works here during the summer and fall — and they need your help.

They are asking residents to use a new internet speed test, which was developed by the independent consultant CTC Technology and Energy and Rural Innovation Strategies Inc. The consultant has no ties to the region’s internet service providers.

The assessment is funded with American Recovery Plan Act funds distributed by Barnstable County.

The test takes about a minute to use and tells you how fast your download and upload speeds are. Users will need to give their address, answer a question about whether their location is a home or business, and say whether the computer is a desktop, laptop, or other device.

“If you’re trying to watch Netflix…and you notice that things aren’t going great, go ahead and do the speed test quick and see what’s going on,” Cape Cod Commission’s Steven Tupper told CAI.

“Either you’ll learn that there is indeed a broadband issue or also sometimes there are issues upstream with the services.”

Tupper said the consultant will use the data to understand what people often say anecdotally — that broadband is unreliable on Cape Cod.

“Some people have problems all year round,” he said. “And then we know during the busy summer season, there’s a lot of activity in general over the network, people really have trouble getting online, processing payments on the business side, telehealth, or simply making a phone call.”

Tupper says the Commission will use the data from the speed test to recommend funding sources to improve Cape Cod’s network. He expects to produce a report about that early next year, as additional federal funding sources become available.

In addition to the test funded by the Cape Cod Commission, the state is also doing its own internet speed assessment, which Tupper encourages Cape residents to take part in. That one takes about five minutes to complete.

Elsa Partan is a producer and newscaster with CAI. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.