Friday, July 16, 2021
Rural Americans invited to share their internet bills and speeds to help shed a spotlight on fair prices and service
A national campaign aims to find out whether Americans pay a fair price for internet service.
This week, "Consumer Reports launched 'Let’s Broadband Together' in partnership with a coalition of groups across the U.S. — including the Rural Assembly, a program of the Center for Rural Strategies, which also publishes The Daily Yonder," the Yonder's Adilia Watson reports. "The project is asking consumers to submit their internet bills and download speeds to a national database that researchers and consumer advocates will use to analyze what American families pay for internet access and what their money buys them."
At least 60 percent of rural residents say it's difficult to access high-speed internet, according to recent Pew Research Center data, Watson reports.
"To participate in the campaign, consumers will be asked to share a monthly internet bill showing cost of service, to complete a speed test, and to fill-in a short survey. The entire process is estimated to take about seven minutes," Watson reports. "The data will be aggregated and analyzed to develop benchmarks around the cost of service and speed. The project will help analysts understand how and why prices and performance vary. No personally-identifiable information will be recorded as part of the project’s analysis ... Participants will receive a free Consumer Reports membership and access to educational materials about broadband reliability and affordability." Campaign organizers hope to gather at least 30,000 submissions by the end of September.