A new state website provides Mississippians information about broadband technology and allows them to test the speed of their Internet service. The site also provides information about various state initiatives to improve access to broadband.
Gov. Haley Barbour announced the "Broadband for Mississippi" website yesterday. The site is part of more than $7 million the state received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to enhance the availability of broadband technology in the state.
President Barack Obama included $7.2 billion in the federal stimulus package for extending broadband infrastructure to rural, under-served areas. In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $2.63 million grant from the stimulus package to bring broadband to 18,200 people in Panola and Quitman Counties.
Unfortunately, the broadband website appears to be not-ready-for-prime-time. The address-location mapping is bad (at least for the few I tried in Pike County), the broadband provider list is only partially complete (missing is major cable provider CableOne), and even the onsite survey has bugs and thus will lead to invalid assumptions by the survey initiators (question 8 requires a response but doesn't give a 'none' option which would be a valid response for many people). Altogether a very amateurish production and, frankly, an embarrassment to this State.
- Ralph in Pike