The County of San Luis Obispo is asking residents to participate in an internet-needs assessment survey and speed test that may lead to improved internet conditions for SLO County residents.
The confidential surveys, each five to 10 minutes long and offered in Spanish and English, will help inform and guide the development of the County’s Broadband Strategic Plan.
You can access the surveys here.
The Countywide Broadband Strategic Plan “will include the identification of underserved populations, priority projects, operational solutions, and grant funding options for high-speed, reliable and affordable broadband connectivity,” according to the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments website.
The plan will align SLO County with the state of California's "Broadband for All" initiative, which seeks to provide high-speed internet access to all California residents, particularly those in underserved communities.
The Countywide Broadband Strategic Plan process began in March 2023 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The County's plan followed the commissioning of similar surveys conducted by the governments of individual cities in SLO County earlier this year and in late 2022. Some major cities in SLO County are conducting their own Broadband Strategic Plans.
It is unclear how, or if, those city surveys are being used in the development of the Countywide Broadband Strategic Plan.
The project is being worked on in conjunction with telecom-consulting company TeleworX. The County and TeleworX are seeking the participation of residents, businesses, local governments, educational institutions and other stakeholders, according to a SLO County press release detailing the plan.
Grant funding for the project, totaling $2.7 million across 27 rural counties in California to develop broadband strategic plans, was announced by the U.S. Economic Development Administration in August 2022. The funding was originally awarded to California by the U.S. Treasury through American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Biden in March of 2021.