Speed Test Profile Created for Every Indiana County

October 20, 2021

Being able to grasp your community’s digital inclusion level is tricky. The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) added another tool to help with this across Indiana counties.

Typically, the Federal Communication’s Commission (FCC) Form 477 is used in data products and metrics, such as the Digital Divide Index. While it has serious issues, this is the only broadband dataset available for the entire nation. Data from the Census (Digital Inclusion | Vulnerability) can also be used. While these data sources are useful, they do not paint a complete picture of a county’s digital landscape.

For this reason, PCRD has launched another metric: speed tests. While speed tests are not the perfect metric, they do show a different picture when it comes to quality of broadband access and availability. Data was obtained from the open access M-Lab dataset. M-Lab is a repository of speed tests completed throughout the country. Visit M-Lab for more information.

A speed test profile for every county in Indiana is now available. The key indicator used is median download and upload speeds in megabits per second or Mbps. Medians are used versus averages because averages are susceptible to outliers.

Median download and upload speeds were grouped into three groups: poor or red (less than 25/3 Mbps); good or yellow (between 25/3 and less than 100/20); and excellent or green (100/20 or higher). The profile also includes the total number of speeds, annual trends, and maximum and minimum speeds recorded.

How do you go about understanding this new profile?

  1. See if your county’s trend is improving. The arrows in between the years make it easier to spot this trend.
  2. Which group does your county fall into by looking at the color per year? Did it start as red? Has it moved to green?
  3. What are the maximum and minimum speeds recorded in your county?

This metric highlights inequities in broadband quality. Along with other digital inclusion metrics, it provides a broader picture of your county’s digital inclusion landscape.

Roberto Gallardo
PCRD Director

View County Speed Test Profiles