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FCC Asks You To Test Your Broadband Speeds

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the your-mileage-will-vary dept.

Privacy 454

AnotherUsername writes "The Federal Communications Commission is asking the nation's broadband and smartphone users to use its broadband testing tools to help the feds and consumers know what speeds are actually available, not just promised by the nation's telecoms. At http://www.broadband.gov/, users enter their address and test their broadband download speed, upload speed, latency, and jitter using one of two tests (users can choose to test with the other after one test is complete). The FCC is requiring the street address, as it 'may use this data to analyze broadband quality and availability on a geographic basis' (they promise not to release location data except in the aggregate). The agency is also asking those who live in a broadband 'dead zone' to fill out a report online, call, fax, email, or even send a letter. The announcement comes just six days before the FCC presents the first ever national broadband plan to Congress. Java is necessary to run the test." Lauren Weinstein points out some of the limitations in the FCC's testing methodology.

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Hmm... (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450940)

...I would like to help them out by providing the necessary data, but I'm not sure how comfortable I am with it...tinfoil hat and all that. Anyone planning on doing this? Why or why not?

Re:Hmm... (4, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450970)

I am, or I would. I need to wait for FreeBSD to update the java available in ports, though. It's too much of a pain to get it from Sun.

Why? Well I'd like to see telco's held to their promised speeds as much as possible. If you are going to advertise one speed but only deliver a lower one, that's false advertising (or something).

Why the need of an addy? (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450980)

Can't they trace the IP instead?

Re:Why the need of an addy? (4, Insightful)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451066)

They can trace the IP, but it will lead them to your provider, not your house. I think the idea here is to learn about speed according to geographic location (i.e., neighborhood) rather than by provider.

Re:Why the need of an addy? (5, Informative)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451136)

They want to determine coverage. You cannot derive street-level coverage of broadband from IP addresses easily. As it stands, one of the problems with broadband is that you do not get universally consistent coverage, for example, at home, the 3/768 DSL offering of one of the CLEC's failed testing and they provisioned it for 1.5/512 instead. Had we been half a mile closer to the CO, 3/768 likely would have worked. There will be someone else a little further out who can only get it as 768/384.

The real problem will be for the FCC to get enough people to run this to get a meaningful map. I doubt that they'll get enough for it to really matter.

Re:Why the need of an addy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451226)

The real problem will be for the FCC to get enough people to run this to get a meaningful map. I doubt that they'll get enough for it to really matter.

I would have said they'd get a decent amount by having it Slashdotted. But since they're asking for relatively close (as in your home) addresses, I figure most Slashdotters are too paranoid to give the info they want.

Re:Why the need of an addy? (5, Informative)

trum4n (982031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451388)

Problem is, everybody has to grow up. You address is public already. CHILL. Run the damn test so the FCC can rape comcast and FIOS already so we get the speeds we are paying for!

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450986)

I did it from work, but said I was doing it from home. Further, I entered an address of a home (not mine) in a rural area in my state that is currently trying to get federal stimulus money because they have no broadband.

Re:Hmm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451010)

And making the feds think they already have high speed internet is supposed to help them... how?

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451084)

Obviously it's Spinal Tap Syndrome. He wants them to be able to get an 11 so he's pretending they have a 10 now.

Re:Hmm... (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451040)

I did it from work, but said I was doing it from home. Further, I entered an address of a home (not mine) in a rural area in my state that is currently trying to get federal stimulus money because they have no broadband.

So your goal to make sure they don't get any stimulus money for broadband by making it appear they do?

Anyways, it's hard to imagine they won't be discarding outliers, and (regardless of intentions) your dishonest result will be an outlier.

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451196)

>>>So your goal to make sure they don't get any stimulus money for broadband by making it appear they do?

Our national debt is nearly $130,000 per American home* and projected by Obama's budget to increase +$10,000 more each year. We. Need. To Stop. Spending. Otherwise we'll have ~$200,000/home by the end of this decade, and all go bankrupt. As Cosby might say, "C'mon people! This isn't hard to figure out."

The solution to broadband is ridiculously easy -

- Congress should mandate with a simple law that the telephone company must provide DSL to any customer requests it (within six months). The twisted-pair lines are already there, except for the need to add a neighborhood DSLAM. If Verizon/ATT/whoever balk about expense, simply point to the billions they received circa 1996 and say "use that". Actually the expense should be quite low to upgrade existing phone lines to DSL lines.

*
* Simple math. Current U.S. Government Debt /100 million households.

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451268)

The solution to broadband is ridiculously easy -

- Congress should mandate with a simple law that the telephone company must provide DSL to any customer requests it (within six months). The twisted-pair lines are already there, except for the need to add a neighborhood DSLAM. If Verizon/ATT/whoever balk about expense, simply point to the billions they received circa 1996 and say "use that". Actually the expense should be quite low to upgrade existing phone lines to DSL lines.

So you're proposing that instead of the taxpayer paying for it via taxes, the customers will pay for it via price increases handed down by the providers to cover the extra costs?

So it's OK for everyone to pay for it as long as it's not called taxes? Brilliant.

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

butchersong (1222796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451396)

I believe his point was that the federal government is at the moment not capable of paying for ANYTHING. So yeah a consumer that wishes to have broadband paying for the service is preferable to the government borrowing more money to pay for something they wouldn't implement correctly anyway.

Re:Hmm... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451510)

+1 butchersong for being "insightful"

Re:Hmm... (4, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451402)

>>>instead of the taxpayer paying for it via taxes, the customers will pay for it

That's right. At least as a customer, you can cancel the bill if you feel it's too high, or downgrade to a cheaper service. For example I downgraded from $60 to $15 when comcast raised their rates.

- As a customer you have power to cancel or moderate your spending.
- As a taxpayer you have zero power.
- I prefer the former to the latter, don't you?

Re:Hmm... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451500)

You conveniently chose only part of the statement.

customers will pay for it via price increases handed down by the providers to cover the extra costs.

The extra costs will be added to everyone's bill to cover your government mandated DSL program, not just the people who get it.

Your 'customer action' approach would be that everyone downgrade their service when the providers increase their charges to cover a government mandated rollout?

Re:Hmm... (4, Interesting)

Ed Bugg (2024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451462)

So you're proposing that instead of the taxpayer paying for it via taxes, the customers will pay for it via price increases handed down by the providers to cover the extra costs?

So it's OK for everyone to pay for it as long as it's not called taxes? Brilliant.

As much as you aimed that comment sarcastically, you are right on the money. Think of it as paying for something you actually use and is meaningful to you. Rather then paying for a service that you didn't use, but instead someone got to use.

Or to put it another way. Why should I work for 60 hours a week busting my rear so that you can sit in your parents basement getting high scores on Call of Duty since you have virtually no lag time thanks to my taxes?

Re:Hmm... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451224)

This is one of the best tricks I have ever seen to get people to attach their ip address to their street address. Now the Fed doesn't even have to trace anymore, just refer to the street database. brilliant.

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451390)

So I'll reset my dsl modem afterward and get a new IP address. They'll still have to use their NSA computers for tracking me ;-)

Re:Hmm... (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451266)

Don't forget, you have to pay up some more money if they do succed

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451294)

Where would that money come from?

Reaching into one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pockets to do so is despicable and deserves condemnation. - Walter Williams

Re:Hmm... (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451060)

So you deliberate made an area trying to get federal support because it doesn't have available broadband look like it has broadband? That's not very nice...

Re:Hmm... (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451056)

give'em approximate address? (like... corner house on your block).

In my case, it's the apartment building without apartment number.

Re:Hmm... (2)

Selivanow (82869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451112)

What's the point? The Feds already know where I live...I did want my tax return. So now they know "how fast" my connection is.

Re:Hmm... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451192)

I told them I live in one of the US Minor islands.. which is semi true. I live in the UK. They may or may not fall for my address: 12345, City: 12345, Zipcode: 12345..

Re:Hmm... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451304)

Zip 12345 is Schenectady, NY. You could have at least used '123 Fake Street'. It doesn't take much to fool the government but you at least gotta try a little.

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451426)

Meh, it worked. I doubt the US government is going to chase me down and imprison me for it. Well, I hope not. Hang on, there's someone at the do-

Re:Hmm... (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451406)

Not to mention you probably already have a driver's license, and that requires a current address. Does anyone seriously believe the government doesn't know where they live?

Re:Hmm... (5, Interesting)

DJLuc1d (1010987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451072)

They don't ask for your name, just location, which I am ok with. It's a census year anyways and I plan on participating which is more of a threat to my privacy than a nameless broadband test.

Re:Hmm... (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451254)

Name - commodore64_love
Number of residents - 3
(Thus ends the legally-allowed questions - the rest of these violate the Bill of Rights (9 and 10).)
Age: I forget.
Sex: I don't know what that is.
Income: Too small.
Insured? No and it's BY MY OWN CHOICE so STOP RAMMING IT DOWN MY THROAT.
Number of cars? As many as I can afford which is more than 0 but less than 100.

Re:Hmm... (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451082)

You think Gub'mnt doesn't routinely "process" ALL WWW communication? You have some expectation of internet privacy ?? Ha hahahaha.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Neitokun (882224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451270)

How's it any different than going to SpeedTest.net. As far as I can tell, the only two differences are 1) broadband.gov doesn't give you a shiny little sig badge to wave your download speed around in and 2) SpeedTest.net isn't going to put pressure on Verizon/Comcast/etc. to provide better broadband.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451310)

I didn't provide a valid address (same street, non-existent address) and tested.

Very different results from both speedtest and dslreports - which I thought was interesting.

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

mikes.song (830361) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451330)

I did it, and it says I have 26811 kbps down and 409 kbps up. I call BS. It has to be a conspiracy.

Re:Hmm... (2, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451394)

First, you'll need to stop all other network activity during the test to get an accurate result. Second, don't get kB and kb confused... 1kB=8kb.

Happy testing.

Re:Hmm... (4, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451360)

I like your thinking. This is the government asking for this after all, you can't even trust the government with your social security number! Giving them your address is just asking for trouble.

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451498)

do you think they will install malware on your PC?

i've lived in the US for almost 30 years and came from east of the iron curtain. you tin foil people make me laugh.

Windows firewall (2, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450958)

Windows firewall pops up a warning in the middle of the test, which will likely mess up the results since it will cause a delay. Not sure I like unblocking an application that the government is sponsoring either.

Re:Windows firewall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451024)

Just reblock it afterwards you paranoid weirdo. Not every one is out there to get you.

Re:Windows firewall (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451322)

I'd like to beg to differ... oh whats the point. The government is trying to do its job for once. They are calling this whole thing "providing for the general welfare".

Re:Windows firewall (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451064)

If you don't like the idea of a government-sponsored network testing application accessing the network why would you even bother to download and execute it?

The activities of any network speed tester should attract the attention of a competent firewall, since they will necessarily involve doing some uploading and downloading. If this makes you nervous, just don't execute the code(or, if you have the java chops, examine it first and make sure that the filler data used for the upload portion of the test isn't actually an encrypted dump of interesting information from your computer).

Re:Windows firewall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451238)

Pretty sure that a Java applet will end up being reported as the Java runtime in Windows firewall. I'd keep the thing blocked, too.

no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450960)

One more piece of crap they'll stick on my new Biometric National ID Card.

The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (1, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450972)

Broadband in the U.S. (90% cable modem-based) is held back from reaching speed and latency of next-generation networks like Korea because it was designed as a synchronous network (see Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ). The telecom monopolies won't upgrade to an asynchronous protocol without huge bribes from the already bankrupt federal government.

Then there is the problem of Italian influence, and the known fact that Italo-islamic spies have placed cable splitters in all the main telecom hubs of the U.S. and Mexico -- when will Congress address this? I'm not holding my breath waiting.

Re:The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (2, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451026)

Then there is the problem of Italian influence, and the known fact that Italo-islamic spies have placed cable splitters in all the main telecom hubs of the U.S. and Mexico

This is SERIOUS SHIT, if it is true !!

Can anyone confirm the above claim, please ??

Re:The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451092)

Can anyone confirm the above claim, please ??

I can confirm this claim! You're welcome.

Re:The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451138)

Hes full of shit, don't be so gullible.

Re:The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (0, Troll)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451150)

This is probably as SERIOUS a SHIT as Irak WMD's in 2002.

Re:The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (0, Redundant)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451340)

Hey, don't joke about it... Those nukular WMDs are still out there doing all kinds of terrorism. :)

Re:The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (2, Funny)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451306)

Then there is the problem of Italian influence, and the known fact that Italo-islamic spies have placed cable splitters in all the main telecom hubs of the U.S. and Mexico

This is SERIOUS SHIT, if it is true !!

Can anyone confirm the above claim, please ??

Minus the profanity, this pretty much typifies one of every three emails I get from my grandmother.

Re:The problem with "broadband" in the U.S. (1)

N1tr0u5 (819066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451378)

Confirmed! I was at the same Tinfoil Hat of America meeting with the OP!

They need to give us better motivation (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450996)

ie have the applet download some porn and measure how long it took!

Test server slashdotted already? (5, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451002)

I ran the test and the measurements were 10% of the speed of my FIOS connection.

It offered me the opportunity to rerun the test using Ookla as the host. That returned 25 megabit/sec down and 15 megabit/sec up -- which is what my connection is supposed to do.

They apparently need to implement some sort of queue, so that they don't saturate their own connection with too many simultaneous tests.

Re:Test server slashdotted already? (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451182)

I got similar data rate measurements from both engines, but the latency with MBLAB was 450 ms, jitter 420, whille Ookla was 25 ms, jitter 8.

Re:Test server slashdotted already? (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451414)

My results were almost exactly what yours were. It's a bit too variable to be entirely trustworthy.

Re:Test server slashdotted already? (2, Informative)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451354)

And it's convenient that the test, which allegedly requires Java, also complains that I need to upgrade to the last version of flash. I'm guessing not many iPhone/AT&T results in this poll.

Don't do it, they'll get to you... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451012)

One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets...

Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated "local foot products".

Mr Albarelli said the real "smoking gun" was a White House document sent to members of the Rockefeller Commission formed in 1975 to investigate CIA abuses. It contained the names of a number of French nationals who had been secretly employed by the CIA and made direct reference to the "Pont St. Esprit incident." In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Mr Albarelli claims, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.

This is nice I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451014)

But why not something more along bredbandskollen.se, which has been around in Sweden for a long time (counting the previuos open-source win32/linux client available). More automated, less java.

if I were them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451022)

I would selectively throttle http://www.broadband.gov/ to 110% of the nominal bandwidth being paid for :)

Re:if I were them (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451344)

Someone at Comcast seems to already be on this. My connection goes to shit when I use BT, including latency and packet loss, but magically my numbers on that particular test stay nearly ideal.

Re:if I were them (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451430)

This was my first thought, too... Wondering how long it would take every ISP in the country to put this testing traffic to the top of their QoS & traffic shaping priorities.

Yet another thing to do (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451028)

Why not just add it to the census. :)

... so is Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451032)

Flash is also required to run the tests. Please correct the article.

Ookla (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451042)

Requires Java and Flash? That's gotta hurt my computer's performance on everything let alone my connection speed.

Mine is (1)

dontgetshocked (1073678) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451054)

Download 10467 Upload 1770 Latency 52 Jitter 4 Dont know if that is good or bad,provider is Comcast

Re:Mine is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451232)

cool story, bro

Classic failures (2, Informative)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451068)

An iPhone (yes there's an iPhone app) test and a laptop test on the same wifi reported wildly different numbers.

Selecting a server 800 miles away rather than the one in the same city yielded much improved numbers (by whole number multiples).

Speedtest.net already has an extensive database, and appears to be part of the backend of this. It's too bad the FCC couldn't have just handed them a small pile of cash to summarize the existing data, which would probably have been better at rapidly producing results.

Re:Classic failures (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451128)

This is the same administration that sent us all mail to tell us that they will be sending us mail in the near future. Not exactly surprising when they reinvent another wheel, even if it's another agency this time.

Re:Classic failures (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451454)

Apparently, the increase in response rates cuts down on the number of home visits required, saving money.

Re:Classic failures (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451368)

This "test" is typical of government programs. Expensive, doesn't work right, and ends-up not fulfilling its promises.

Remember EZpass in 2000? When I signed-up the government told me it would save time and money. Instead of $1 for a toll, I paid 90 cents, which saved a lot of cash over a month's time. Then in 2005 they eliminated the savings, but I kept the EZpass for convenience. And now in 2010 they want me to PAY $20 more each year than the cash drivers. I'm getting rid of my EZpass. It's typical politician doubletalk where they promise "savings" and then eventually end-up costing you MORE not less, than the old cash-based system.

This FCC test is likely costing a mint, and it clearly doesn't work, and will generate bad results to justify spending billions of dollars. Plus I suspect even if it did work properly and showed less than 5% of American don't have broadband via DSL, cable, satellite, cellular, or wifi..... the politicians will still claim it justifies spending billions of OUR dollars in order to buy votes.

Yes I'm a cynic. I trust the government about as much as I trust Microsoft or Comcast. Actually - less. At least MS or CC can't force their way into my home.

One of the more accurate tests I've run (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451070)

I've tried the numerous broadband speed testers out there. Depending on where they are and who they are I have received results as low as 1/5th my actual bandwidth to twice as much. Sometimes I wondered if they were really trying at all. I generally judge my downstream on an average of what I get when I do an aptitude update ; aptitude upgrade as it seems to be inline with my actual advertised speeds. As far as downstream, I use my machine via SSH daily and the speeds I get through that. Pretty consistent.

This test was pretty much dead on accurate. I was 9993/975 (I have 10/1). The test was painless, easy, and the only thing I didn't particularly care for was the fact that they wanted your exact address. Wouldn't a simple portion of your address work well enough (e.g. 1xx Main St 90210) instead of the entire thing? Even if they were looking to aggregate the information by Zip+4 that should be enough, right? Who needs it any lower than that?

Re:One of the more accurate tests I've run (2, Funny)

dancingmilk (1005461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451160)

Half an address should be enough for anyone!

Re:One of the more accurate tests I've run (1)

hoyty (35485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451172)

I have to agree for me at least. It gave me 33 down and 38 up which is pretty close to my FIOS 35/35. Even with the problems outlined in the linked review I think the collected data placed against a given providers claims would be useful on a large scale. I wonder if the collect the ISP based on ARIN data?

Re:One of the more accurate tests I've run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451308)

Wouldn't a simple portion of your address work well enough (e.g. 1xx Main St 90210) instead of the entire thing?

It depends on the internet service. I've got a friend who lives in a subdivision in a rural area with DSL. The DSL reaches literally all of his neighbors. But he's a little too far in for the signal to successfully reach him. Thus giving an exact address would actually help to pinpoint where service starts and stops.

Re:One of the more accurate tests I've run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451444)

Wouldn't a simple portion of your address work well enough (e.g. 1xx Main St 90210) instead of the entire thing? Even if they were looking to aggregate the information by Zip+4 that should be enough, right? Who needs it any lower than that?

I, for one, appreciate that they want a precise address. Satellite is the only broadband available to my home. No DSL, cable, WISP, etc. 600 yards away, my next door neighbor gets 10/1 cable. My address number is 4380 - his is 4300. Same Zip+4.

I could run the test, but it wouldn't benefit me, as the pair of yagi antennae and the case of Kessler/year will sway my results.

Re:One of the more accurate tests I've run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451486)

From what I can tell the upload test is a bit limited. It got my download correct at 24594 but my upload was only around 10500, but should be around 25000 on my 25/25 FiOS package.

My Results (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451076)

Comcast in Hanover County, VA 23059:

down: 20347 kbps
up: 3144 kbps
latency: 20 ms
jitter: 1 ms

Tested with Ookla - running firefox.

Browser sensitive! (1, Flamebait)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451090)

Users are randomly assigned the Ookla or M-Lab application.
Note: the M-Lab application currently does not work with Safari, Chrome, and Opera web browsers.

Really? So the 3 most standards compliant browsers arent supported?

Re:Browser sensitive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451146)

They say that but the test still worked for me in chrome

Re:Browser sensitive! (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451236)

Worked fine in Chrome for me *shrug*.

Re:Browser sensitive! (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451358)

I tried to run it as well and it required Flash 9 or higher to run. I refuse to install Flash so I guess I can't help them out any.

Re:Browser sensitive! (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451372)

They don't allow standards-compliant browsers to do the test because they hold Java to its security regulations of not allowing it to access any page except for one on the same server that referenced the applet.

Will anything come of this? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451122)

Is this a prelude to the FCC clamping down on ISPs' habit of overselling or are they simply gathering data for it's own sake?

Rural electrification (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451320)

Given the reference to a "broadband dead zone" in the summary, I imagine that this, combined with the census, will be used as justification for a communications counterpart to the late 1930s rural electrification project that made up part of President FDR's New Deal.

Comcast Network Engineers will be busy (1)

sjlutz (540312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451140)

Surely, those Net Admins at Comcast will be looking at this and figuring out where the test is connecting to, and then modifying their configurations so that their filtering/slowdown settings do not interfere with a users ability to get FULL speed just to the testing site.

Re:Comcast Network Engineers will be busy (1)

cojsl (694820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451290)

Surely, those Net Admins at Comcast will be looking at this and figuring out where the test is connecting to, and then modifying their configurations so that their filtering/slowdown settings do not interfere with a users ability to get FULL speed just to the testing site.

Now, to figure out how to use broadband.gov as a proxy..

Re:Comcast Network Engineers will be busy (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451452)

Surely, those Net Admins at Comcast will be looking at this and figuring out where the test is connecting to, and then modifying their configurations so that their filtering/slowdown settings do not interfere with a users ability to get FULL speed just to the testing site.

Now, to figure out how to use broadband.gov as a proxy..

Well all you have to do is to hack into the website and install your own proxy software. Then shortly after that you will find that all your broadband speed issues have disappeared - along with a few other things of course.

Re:Comcast Network Engineers will be busy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451524)

Not just comcast.

I ran the test twice, once with M-LAB the other with Ookla - both returned results I've *never* seen in my 2 years of service with my ISP. Even at that, Ookla measured my download/upload speeds as more than 2x the M-LAB speeds.

Now to figure out how to use broadband.gov as a proxy :)

It's a trap! (-1, Offtopic)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451164)

n/t

Geolocation? (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451166)

Im able to run the test from outside the US. This data con not possibly be considered trustworthy.

Re:Geolocation? (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451440)

That would be trivial to weed out as your IP will be completely wrong. Also, under the assumption that most visitors will provide correct information, they can simply exclude unrealistic samples.

Needs Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451174)

Java is necessary to run the test
I couldn't run the test, I don't have Flash installed.
They must feel Flash is so ubiquitous it doesn't need to be mentioned.

Frozen (1)

Tteddo (543485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451242)

It froze Firefox at 74% on the latency test, twice. Firefox 3, Ubuntu 8.04.

Java and Flash required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451256)

Epic fail.

WARNING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451284)

The Java applet steals private data
be warned

I bet - ISP will "improve" speeds for that side (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451316)

My bet is that ISP will see that someone is trying to do a test on that single site and just give it higher priority and such.
Gonna turn into bullshit survey, not much different from when it would be infested by /b/tards.

Locked up (1)

methano (519830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451324)

I think the site got slashdotted. Firefox, on my Al 2007 iMac (Snow Leopard), locked up. Will try again later.

surprised at the speed (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451366)

Admittedly, it's 6:30 in the morning, when most of the apartment complex in San Diego (UTC area, 92122) is still asleep. Nonetheless, for basic high speed from Time Warner Cable, I'm quite surprised by the speed. I've always been happy with the speed they provide, but I didn't realize that it would burst so high. Of course, other than broadband.gov no one is pushing data down my connection at those speeds anyways.

Download speed: 29836 kbps
Upload speed: 964 kbps
Latency: 17 ms
Jitter 2 ms

The FCC, A Captured Regulatory Agency (1, Flamebait)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451424)

This is a waste of time, and simply another one in the current Democratic FCC's array of disappointments. This kind of voluntary speed test information gathering is worthless, since there's no way to vet the contributors' address claims. It's really just for show, just like the rest of the FCC's attempts to regulate.

The problem right now is the FCC's policies, and from what I've heard its upcoming National Broadband Plan, are wimpy, non-confrontational, and will do nothing to change the status quo in the current duopoly broadband industry. Genachowski, the head of the FCC, early in the NBP creation process took government intervention off the table, essentially maiming any hope the agency had of accomplishing anything. They have no anti-trust powers or backing from Congress. The agency itself is just too weak to accomplish anything.

The worst example of this is the FCC commissioned a study to be conducted by Harvard's Berkman center to determine why US internet had lagged behind. In the conclusion of the study, the foremost recommendation was the reinstitution of line-sharing, which had proved to be hugely successful in expanding broadband in European countries. Yet despite its own commissioned report, the FCC's head of NBP creation, Blair Levin, refuted the usefulness of line-sharing, fearing the FCC would simply be tied up in court over it for years and years, just as Comcast did when it was punished by the FCC for secretly throttling people's P2P traffic.

Until the FCC is given some real power there's no hope for changing things. Unfortunately due to Congress being gridlocked over more important things like healthcare, we won't see this until at the earliest 2012, and only if Democrats maintain a majority in both House and Senate.

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