Engineers in Virginia Tech's eCorridors program and Virginia's Secretary of Technology, Aneesh Chopra, have conceptualized and developed a new K-12 Broadband Speed Map helping Virginia public schools get a head start.

The broadband speed map allows school administrators to test their school’s Internet speed capabilities and easily report findings to the Secretary of Technology’s office. The information collected through this process will assist government leaders in assessing the needs of each public school and targeting resources accordingly.

“Ensuring that every student in Virginia’s public schools has high quality access to the Internet is something that we have been striving for,” explains Chopra, “Together with eCorridors, we have created an easy to use diagnostic tool that will help us determine the areas that need the most attention and allow us to focus our efforts and target recources accordingly.”

“The broadband test is quite simple to conduct with just a couple of mouse clicks,” explains Brenda van Gelder, director of the eCorridors program, “The Web application utilizes the Internet2 network diagnostic tool testing engine that also support eCorridors’ statewide broadband speed map that was launched in 2006.” Users can test their school’s Internet upload and download speeds, view the results, and report the information, all within seconds.

State officials are confident that the tool will provide an immediate and informed assessment of this critical resource. “This tool will be extremely valuable to school [information technology] administrators to help them balance use of internet based instructional resources with on-line standards of learning test access,” stated Lan Neugent, assistant superintendent for technology and career education, Virginia Department of Education.

The K-12 broadband speed test goes live on the < href="">eCorridors’ and Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance’s websites in mid-January. Summary results will be available on the Secretary of Technology’s website.

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