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August 11, 2021

Help Our Parish Improve Broadband - Do This Speed Test

To:     The Citizens of Washington Parish

From: Parish President Richard N. Thomas, Jr

RE:     Action Needed - Make Voices Heard in Effort to Bring Broadband to Rural Louisiana

Two minutes of your time could help bring improved broadband internet to your business, home or farm. Broadband internet is not available everywhere in Louisiana, but work is underway to change that. Washington Parish Government is helping the Delta Regional Authority connect with rural residents to learn what internet speeds are available, if broadband internet is available at all.

Washington Parish Government is helping the Delta Regional Authority survey internet speeds across Louisiana and we are asking you to join us in a campaign to quantify internet availability through an internet speed test. Just visit this website, http://dra.gov/speedtest, and measure your internet speed.

The speed test can be taken from any device that has a connection to your home, farm, or business Wi-Fi signal. The test takes less than one minute to complete, and no personal information will be collected. For the most accurate results, ensure no one else connected to your internet is using a substantial portion of the internet bandwidth for activities such as streaming video or gaming during the test. Individuals without internet access in their home can visit their local library or other locations such as stores and restaurants that offer free internet access to submit the address of a home with no available service. It must be noted that using a "hot spot" on your mobile phone is not considered as having internet service, as such you should register as having "no service".

We would also ask that you consider helping us spread the word about this campaign via social media and through other communication channels. The more participation - the better. You are also not limited to one test, as speeds may vary throughout the day, therefore we encourage you to complete the speed test at different intervals.

Washington Parish Government will continue to work with our congressional delegation, Governor Edwards, the State Legislature and other interested parties to find viable sources of funding to help spread broadband across rural Louisiana. Quality data gathered from this speed test may be what sets Louisiana apart in terms of national projects and funding allocations. So please join us in performing this speed test today!

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