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Global "Last Mile" Performance Stats Going Public

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the last-shall-be-first dept.

The Internet 233

Ookla, the company behind Speedtest.net, Pingtest.net, and the bandwidth testing apps deployed at many ISPs, has gone public with Net performance stats from 1.5 billion users (and counting). Their Net Index page displays download speed, upload speed, and connection "quality" from the EU and the G8, to countries, worldwide cities, and US states. Beginning today, the company is also making detailed (anonymized) data available to academics. "Ookla will also start surveying users about how much they pay for broadband and how much bandwidth they were promised by their ISPs. The results of those questions will go into building a Value Index, which will show how much people around the world pay per megabit-per-second for Internet access. In addition, by collecting postal codes from Speedtest users, Ookla hopes to map broadband service to local economic conditions, Apgar said. The Speedtest data could give the US government far more information to work with in setting priorities for its National Broadband Plan..."

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233 comments

Hmmmm... (4, Insightful)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341770)

The Speedtest data could give the US government far more information to work with in setting priorities for its National Broadband Plan..."

I wonder if we'll give away billions to ISPs without getting anything in return again.

Re:Hmmmm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342214)

of course we will silly. This is America. Corporations promise, government panders, corporations re-nig. public cries out, gov wrings hands and shakes finger. Something shiny comes along it becomes forgotten

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342916)

That should be "renege". Please understand words before you use them.

B.S. anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32343044)

I stopped using speedtest.net quite some time ago in favor of speed.uberbandwidth.com [uberbandwidth.com] because speedtest would always give me slower results than I would get downloading files from any myriad of servers even though their server was closer.

This whole thing is a joke anyway. It implies this stupid argument that somehow a nation is a better place to live because it has faster average internet access.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Informative)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342304)

Why should ISPs be held to a higher standard than automobile manufacturers, banks, insurance companies, the health care system, defense contractors, oil companies, mortgage brokers, Wall St financiers, and "family" farmers like ADM?

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342336)

I wonder if we'll give away billions to ISPs without getting anything in return again.

I wonder if the stats revealed by this survey will show that we shouldn't...

Moldova? (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341796)

What's the story there?

Re:Moldova? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32341968)

Few have Internet there and the ones that do probably live in the capital city. It's easy to get a good index with one heavily wired city. It was only a few years ago that people in the villages didn't have inside plumbing. Considering the amount of people *leaving* those villages (and even the country), I doubt there is much reason to wire up the villages. Many villages do have cell access and the limitations that come with it.

Re:Moldova? (2, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342110)

I'm more interested in Tanzania. I'm not quite sure what the scale on either direction is, but it looks like it's zero to... something... halfway through. What, did the first person in Tanzania get broadband in the middle of the month?

Anyway, cheers to all of us for being ahead of North Korea. At the end of the day, when we think our country has thoroughly embarrassed and disappointed us, we can still usually say "At least we're not in North Korea."

I mean, in some contexts. Having a deity for a dear leader, for example, we're still trailing...

Re:Moldova? (2, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342250)

I'm more interested in Tanzania. I'm not quite sure what the scale on either direction is, but it looks like it's zero to... something... halfway through. What, did the first person in Tanzania get broadband in the middle of the month?

Must be one of those flights with on-board wifi passing through their airspace.

Re:Moldova? (2, Funny)

Xemu (50595) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342274)

. Having a deity for a dear leader, for example, we're still trailing...

Not very far. Mr Jobs is very close to ascending.

Re:Moldova? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342482)

They abbreviate Moldova 'MD'- they probably included D.C. with Maryland, then mixed up the abbreviations.

Seriously, though, they shouldn't use 2-letter abbreviations for both states and countries. Just say US/USA or both US and the state postal code.

The US looks pretty terrible. (4, Interesting)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341812)

US is not in the top 10, couple of cities in the top 50 of those for download, none in upload? Is the USA really that far behind the curve, or is there another explanation?

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (3, Insightful)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341872)

It's been my experience from various locales that the US really is that far behind the curve. I've friends around the world and when we discuss speeds/cost they seem amazed if they've never heard our rates before. Rather pathetic at times. Ah well, life goes on.

Just remember, if this is what we have to complain about, are we doing so poorly? There are people around the world with no house at this very moment, due to lack of sufficient infrastructure, and our complaint is "my intertubes is too slows!"...

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (4, Insightful)

not flu (1169973) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342044)

I was under the impression that there were people in the US with no house, too.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342070)

I rather meant "ours" to mean /.ers ... There are plenty of people not from the US on /. as well, and they'll likely have the same complaint if they're worried about data rates compared to global/country averages...

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342440)

So you're comparing apples and oranges? By your own admission, you were referring to /.'ers (who presumably all have houses), and yet you're trying to draw comparisons to homeless people?

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342658)

No, I'm not comparing apples and oranges, I'm saying the "woe is me" attitude shouldn't be tolerated.

Also, I'm saying that we should demand corporate reform. But that doesn't fit with my first comment. It does with yours. See some of my post history for cases where I rant on and on about how fucked the western world is due to our reliance on corporate power. It's truly going to take us all down (hell, BP's trying to poison us...).

Homeless in USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342428)

Yes, we have full-timers! Those lucky, lucky folks who don't own/rent a house, they instead live, work, and play full time in their RV's! Is this a great country or what!

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342126)

Just remember, if this is what we have to complain about, are we doing so poorly? There are people around the world with no house at this very moment, due to lack of sufficient infrastructure, and our complaint is "my intertubes is too slows!"...

There's nothing wrong with being thankful for what you have while working towards something better.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342286)

Talk about messed up priorities. Insufficient means to build a house is unfortunate, but $60/mo for spotty, 2nd grade broadband is criminal!

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (4, Insightful)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342426)

The U.S. generally considers itself to be technologically advanced compared to other nations and believes that it helps to drive our economy and keep people in their houses. If it were to turn out that we actually aren't the best in the world at technological issues... well, actually, we'll probably just deny it and say that we are and whine about our lack of population density making it hard to build more infrastructure.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (2, Insightful)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342616)

hehe, I actually thought it was by now well established that we're rather skewered on our technical prowess. We just happen to have a lot of servers in this country (so greater proportion of the internet than we deserve?), and we can play with the global monetary system since we control Wall Street. Otherwise, I see other countries out innovate us all the time. I'm rather afraid of our position slipping to number 6 or 15 or something globally before I retire (many years away).

Oh and I should mention that it's our lack of population density that ... ;)

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (2, Insightful)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342674)

Oh and I should mention that it's our lack of population density that ... ;)

If there is a Discussion of U.S. Internet Drinking Game, rule #1 is, "Every time someone says the words 'population density,' take a shot."

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342756)

Do you really think that the other places in the Top 100 are able to have internet but have no homes?

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

thule (9041) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342014)

Depends on where you live. I have FiOS and I can tell you the download/upload is very, very good. Price? It might be more than $30/month, but for me it's worth it.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342082)

Good FSM man, I'm paying +$30 for 1.5DSL ... it's the only game in town, and I'm not in a position to just up and move (familial obligations, long backstory) ... besides that there is no FIOS in the largest city nearest my job ... as I understand, only one city in the state has FIOS...

Thanks. Can you add a little more salt? ;)

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

thule (9041) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342248)

Only game?? Satellite -- high latency, but can do better than 1.5mbit. Heck, cell towers give better than 1.5mbit down these days. Is there a Verizon tower in your town? Is the town so small it doesn't have a cable company?

Sometimes (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342386)

Satellite -- high latency, but can do better than 1.5mbit. Heck, cell towers give better than 1.5mbit down these days. Is there a Verizon tower in your town? Is the town so small it doesn't have a cable company?

I looked into satellite as an alternative to the cheap cable internet at my new apartment. It was going to cost me much more than $30/month to get just 1 Mbps down. Satellite can fill a niche where there's absolutely no service, but it's not always economically feasible compared to landlines.

From what I've read as well, a 3G tower will not beat 1.5 MBps down - I believe it tends to run in the 500K range, don't quote me on that. 4G coverage can actually beat standard cable landlines by quite a bit, but you have to live in a generally well-populated area to get that installed in your neighborhood. Still, I've been hearing good things about Clear or Spring 4G coverage around Houston, so it's a good alternative if you can get it.

Re:Sometimes (2, Informative)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342578)

Eh, my iPhone gets better speeds in [45 miles nearby large town] than it does on my DSL. #JustSayin ...

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342562)

So ... The people I know with satellite service in our area at "reasonable" rates ( $50/mo, more than what I'm paying) aren't getting download speeds as high as mine. Perhaps it's their choice of carrier, but I'm lead to believe there are only a couple of these guys around.

So ... Verizon tower. No. None of my TMobile or Verizon customers get good reception at my house period. I have AT&T* and the best that my ATT gives me in the area is Edge 1-2 bars. If I sit in my yard. Yeah, there's no MiFi in my future.

So ... Cable company ... yeah, the town is ~1500 residents. There is 1 (one) cable company. I have tried them three times, the most recent being when they left a flier on my fence "do you want cable from us before we start cutting off extra equipment that's not being used in your area?". "Yeah, sorry, the equipment in your area doesn't support internet. No, I've been told it's not worth the cost to support it out there, since the company is located in [next state over]. No, I don't know of any alternatives**."

So, I guess the story is ... can we have a pity party for me? :p ~ I've made my peace for now. I'm just hoping Google and the Fed can come up with some sort of arrangement that encourages somebody in my area to do something in the next two or three years. I'm highly doubtful.

* the whole extended family runs iPhones, so I use a 3GS ~ Keeps support easy for me if I can glance at my phone to remember how to do something. No, I won't be changing soon for an Android. No, I won't be cutting my wrists ... oops, I mean going back to WinMo until at least 7.1. At least.

** it never hurts to ask.

Make a CO-OP! (1)

thule (9041) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342698)

DUDE! Opportunity is knocking! Find the CO in your town (it might be just a shack considering the size). The CO will at least have T1 service. Find a plot of land or someone's roof and set up your own wireless ISP.

Re:Make a CO-OP! (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342860)

Yeah, given that the best in town is either what I have, or T1, I don't see where I'm gaining much by getting a T1 over a 1.5Mbps DSL. Sure, I might have lower latency, but latency is not usually an issue out here. The fracking small size of the town and no support is.

Also, who else would lease service from me? Like 5 people, maybe. This town seems to be split between welfare and retirement.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342116)

Yeah, doesn't surprise me at all that of the countries that are "doing the best" bandwidth-wise, almost all of them are smaller countries.

Is that a new measurement? How many South Koreas can you fit in the US?

Aw, who am I kidding, even with FiOS I'm still envious of their baddassery when it comes to bandwidth. Kudos to them, each of those countries is definitely ahead of the curve infrastructure-wise.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (3, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342224)

Verizon FIOS tops at 50Mbit/20Mbit down/up for $139/month according to their site.

Now compare that to this [japantoday.com] from Japan.

"KDDI Corp will launch a fiber-optic communications service with upload and download speeds each of up to one gigabit per second on Oct 1. ... KDDI will charge 5,985 yen in basic monthly fees for Internet and telephone services, down 1,155 yen from the current price."

Yes, they said lowering the price. XE converts 5,985 yen to $66.29 USD. $66 for 1Gbit compared to $139 for 50Mbit.

In everything, from the bottom all the way to the top, American internet speeds and price absolutely suck.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342922)

*ears plugged* lalalalalalalalal :(

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342372)

I used to pay $59.95 per month for Adelphia PowerLink cable Internet service with crappy uptime (DNS' going down, cable going out, etc.) and not good speeds (peak hours got slow as 10 kB/sec and fastest speed was like 150 kB/sec). This was before cable restructure in the city and DOCSIS in the early 2000s. :(

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (4, Insightful)

pesho (843750) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342060)

Yes it is. Based on my experience in US and EU (including some of the East European countries that score high on the list), US is an expensive dump as far as internet access goes. The reason: there is competition and free enterprise out there unlike US. If you go in one of these eastern europe countries you get to choose from DSL, WiMAX, Cable and even ethernet cable strung from the local 'mom & pop' garage operation.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342306)

But, if you take the EU in toto as a similar size to the US, they are virtually tied. 10.02 v 10.16. Some places great, some not so much.
Could it be better? Hells yeah. But this is not the 3rd world backwater that many in here like to proclaim.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342680)

The people in power here have forgotten that "free enterprise" and "free market" don't refer to "do anything you want". They forgot that the way we became powerful was by using regulation to harness the power of competition for our benefit; but that is no more.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342982)

...due mostly to the idea that if a little regulation is good then a lot of regulation must be great!!

How do we fix it? (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342130)

In response to my previous comment I ask the question: If the state of things in the US broadband wise is so bad, how do we fix it?

Re:How do we fix it? (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342442)

"Fixing it" requires investment in the infrastructure. The major telco / cable companies aren't generally interested in this in more than small amounts. If you're Comcast, you just need to be as fast as the telephone company, and vice versa. Speeds are actually finally coming up from the 1.5 MB standard that a lot of cable lines get to 3-6 MB down as services like AT&T UVerse compete with Comcast's "Power Boost" service in some areas as well as the pressure coming from expansions in 4G wireless. As I've said in threads elsewhere, you know the American internet system is lagging when wireless is starting to surpass landlines in some areas.

But most of these new upgrades to landlines are coming in service and boxtop improvements rather than in the lines. You'll note that Verizon isn't currently expanding their FiOS services anymore. The environment just isn't competitive enough to require the corps to expand at the pace that other countries' do, for whatever reasons that they beat us at speed. When it comes right down to it, improving landline service is going to require government investment in the infrastructure. And considering the current political environment that equates government investments in infrastructure to be ANTI-CAPITALIST SOCIALISM!!!, you'll probably be holding your breath for a while.

Mix of ADSL vs. Other Protocols (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342966)

The big difference is that the US got widespread ADSL earlier than most countries, and the average density of telco COs is such that it's really hard to get past 3-6 Mbps without running new wires. So what you're really seeing is a reflection of the ratios between houses served by ADSL, Cable Modem, and newer technologies (such as fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-block.)

The real question is what you're going to do with all that bandwidth - Bittorrent will happily use any bandwidth you've got, 3 Mbps is fast enough for YouTube, 56kbps was plenty for email, but basically anybody who's trying to sell you more than 6 Mbps is trying to sell you Television-over-IP to compete with the other providers of "500 channels and nothing on". Television's Boring, and we've already got it - What cool stuff are you using that needs the bandwidth?

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342140)

Well Time/Warner, Comcast, and their ilk have done such a wonderful job building out infrastructure. The free market cannot work in this case because they hold (in many cases government granted) monopolies in most areas.

Not to mention as most are also content providers it is not necessarily in their best interest to provide faster internet speeds...

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342144)

The US's upload speed has always stunk. Makes it impractical for most casual admins to run a small private server for friends or even personal use. Stinks when you want to remote to your house to grab a file, where you have 20mbps downstream, and only 768kbps upstream and it just takes forever to grab the file.

Or you can get your wallet totally shafted by your isp if they do offer higher tiers of upstream. Double your speed usually triples to quadruples your monthly cost, and you're usually starting from dirt. (256k to at best 2m)

I pay three times the usual rate at my house because I want their "premium" 2mbps (1.5 actual) instead of the totally useless 384k. (and that's with 10-20m down being standard)

That's an annoying racket they have going with upstream. Problem is, the majority of people that really need high upstream are businesses that need it for employee offsite email and remoting into work, uploading files to customers, etc. So ISPs milk you hard because they expect you to have money to burn.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

Gamma747 (1438537) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342910)

(and that's with 10-20m down being standard)

To be fair, it probably costs a lot to connect your house to their network if you live >20 metres beneath the surface of the earth.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342174)

Looks like some of our states are bringing the overall average down. The top few states would make the top 10 list.

Moreover, the US results look inflated... (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342324)

In my experience, it is hard to even imagine 10/2 Mbit/s average performance anywhere in the US; those numbers look way inflated. As the speed tests are short duration bursts, they are not indicative of actual sustained performance.

Typical cable modem's faster than that these days (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32343062)

Sure, your cable modem company is implementing download caps and harassing you for running a server at home because of bad PR problems they had 15 years ago, but if they're using modern equipment they're technically faster than that, and either the Verizon FIOS FFTH or AT&T U-Verse Fiber-to-the-block technologies get you faster as well. The problem is that anything other than telco ADSL is trying to sell you television (since in most places, DSL is good enough to watch YouTube), and they haven't found any more interesting business model to attract customers.

Re:The US looks pretty terrible. (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342692)

Is the USA really that far behind the curve, or is there another explanation?

1) Yes, the USA is really that far behind the curve

2) The explanation is mainly longer local loop lengths [tinyurl.com] . Average US local loops are over 4 km, compared with 3 km in the UK and France, or under 2 km in Germany and Italy. And unlike most European countries, almost no loops in the US are under 1.5 km, and the US is one of the few countries to have significant numbers of loops (10% of customers) over 5.5 km. This means much slower DSL and cable.

3) Another element is that the US has 60% of housing stock detached houses. For example, the UK has only 25%, meaning more of the houses are multiple-dwelling-units, which means higher cable-per-duct density. Higher duct density means lower construction and repair cost. Also this rules out fiber-to-the-multiple-dwelling-unit for most Americans.

Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341850)

("USian" if you're one of those "which country in America?" types)

I am... discomfited.. at the fact that several cities in former Warsaw Pact nations have nearly DOUBLE the residential downlink bandwidth that the heart of Silicon Valley has. WTF?

Oh, yeah, we definitely won that Cold War.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (3, Insightful)

cruff (171569) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341924)

Oh, yeah, we definitely won that Cold War.

No, I think we lost the Corporate America looks only to squeeze the most profit out of consumers war. I expect the push for short term investor returns overrides the long term investment required for providing good service.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (0, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342190)

We should be taxing sin, not income.

Then, we would all would be rich, and have a well funded government.

But that is too "Regressive" for the "progressives" who would rather reward failure and punish success.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342238)

We should be taxing sin, not income.

Then, we would all would be rich, and have a well funded government.

No, we wouldn't.

I would offer a more detailed rebuttal, but since you haven't actually offered an argument to rebut, just a bare assertion, I'll settle for simple contradiction until you do.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (0, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342510)

Legalize sin (victimless crimes), tax things deemed "harmful" to society, and we'd have enough money to run government.

Profits aren't a dirty word, why would we want to tax people earning a living (income tax), investing (Capital Gains), and providing an inheritance for their kids(Death taxes)??

Taxes are punitive in nature, and when one realizes this, one can offer REAL solutions to societies problems.

And the best thing about "sin" taxes, they are entirely voluntary, if designed right. Don't like cars and big oil? Tax Gasoline, and gas guzzlers. Don't like certain drugs(alcohol)? Tax them.

The only thing making things like this illegal does, is cause crime. We don't need more people in prison, we need less. Meaning less things defined as "crime".

This approach would work except for one thing. That being the busybodies who want to rule everyone and tell them how to live, be they on the right (moral police) and the left (profit police).

And the best thing about such an approach, it would necessarily limit the actions society as a whole as deemed undesired, while at the same time, raising money from those that want to participate in such activities.

Don't want something? Tax it, it will go away. Make it illegal, it doesn't go away, it just becomes a crime. And "crime" should be defined by things like murder, rape, robbery, which have victims.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342512)

But that is too "Regressive" for the "progressives" who would rather reward failure and punish success.

Under what system of logic is manipulating your corporation into a position where you can rape your consumers without fear of reprisal from either them, or the government, considered a failure?

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342474)

Oh, yeah, we definitely won that Cold War.

No, I think we lost the Corporate America looks only to squeeze the most profit out of consumers war. I expect the push for short term investor returns overrides the long term investment required for providing good service.

It's not just that, we've deregulated our economy to the point that there's virtually no competition left. All the push from the libertarians for a "free market" has put us back to the days of robber barons running our country. I honestly think that a lot of these people do not realize that the "free market" is just as broken of an idealized concept as communism. What we really need is a competitive market, not a "free" one.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342612)

It's not just that, we've deregulated our economy to the point that there's virtually no competition left.

What is your definition of "no competition left", in such a way that your statement can be backed up with data? I think that most deregulated industries have significant competition. Certainly the trucking and airline industries are more highly competitive today than before their deregulation in the 1970s, and that is backed up with lower trucking rates and ticket prices.

All the push from the libertarians for a "free market" has put us back to the days of robber barons running our country.

I think you will find the local terrestrial telecommunications industry, which is actually often non-competitive, to be highly regulated by federal, state, and local laws, not really a "libertarian" situation at all.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341940)

There is a difference between the quantity of users, and the network speed each user has. The data will be skewed since it'll give smaller and denser countries an advantage.

Also, the US has more "unlimited" plans than the rest of the world. Most broadband plans that we have in the US do not charge by the megabyte, yet in Australia (and others) they do. So I suspect there is quite a bit less bittorents in those countries than in the US. The more congested the network, the less the performance measured.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

not flu (1169973) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342062)

Australia is an anomaly.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342516)

Australia is an anomaly.

Australia just banned porn - they're not going to be involved in any internet-speed competitions for the next few generations

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342040)

I live geographically in America but happily not in the USA, I guess I *AM* of that type. The correct term is US-American btw.
Back on topic, you might want to compare comparable data. Just take single states to compare them with single european (as in geographical Europe) countries with a similar population density. The USA don't fare all THAT bad, really.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (2, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342172)

The top 3 US States were:
*Delaware (15.56)
*Rhode Island (15.21)
*Massachusetts (15.01)

Bottom 3 US States:
*Montana (5.02)
*Idaho (4.29)
*Alaska (2.27)

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342358)

The correct term is "American". Has been for centuries. Or do you think when the barbarians in the Middle East chant "death to America" they're talking about you?

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342808)

No. I think they just followed the example of US-americans chanting "God Bless America" and actually meaning God should bless the bit above the folks they are desperately trying to keep out and below the guys with the weird accent and the slightly better (imo) IP and copyright laws.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342106)

And I don't even trust the San Jose numbers. 15 Mbit average download speed? There are a ton of people with that kind of speed in San Jose, and that's because they're computer geeks who *NEED* that speed (to play WoW lagfree - right). However, there's an even bigger number of people who don't give a rats ass about download speed, as long as they can check their email and play Farmville. And they don't check their bandwidth.

Not to mention that I don't even know if Ookla distinguishes between IT people testing out their corporate bandwidth (I know I've done it a few times for legitimate reasons, and a few times to see just how much bandwidth speedtest.net had) and people testing their residential bandwidth. Yes, I know that IP addresses are allocated in blocks and can be traced back to specific ISPs, but I'm wondering if Ookla is doing the work to know that a test coming out of an ATT location in Redwood City is coming out of a datacenter with a 100Mbit pipe connected directly to ATT's backbone, or if it's coming from a residence using ATT's DSL service.

Yes, it is kinda weird to see Slovenia top the US, but as said - I don't trust the numbers. Not to mention that smaller places can skew the averages by simply running speedtests repeatedly from various locations. How much do you want to bet that some hacker will create a botnet just to skew these "official" numbers, or that a local LUG decides to break their city into the top ten by running their speed tests from places that they know have fat bandwidth?

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342434)

Also for high speeds, many of the speed test servers are insufficient. I get wildly varied results when I test at work. Reason is I'm basically testing the current capacity of a single connection to a given server at that time. The network here has more bandwidth, they just either don't have enough, or aren't setting it aside for speed tests. So I'll hit a server in state and see 100mbit, hit one in another state and see 250mbit. Then I'll go download a Linux torrent and see 800-900mbit.

Regardless I'm with you in that I don't trust their numbers in that there's no control for them. Another control that's needed is testing to servers outside your ISP. An ISP could easily offer high bandwidth to customer premises and low bandwidth to the rest of the Internet and keep costs down. Well fine, but that doesn't mean they compete with a service that offers high bandwidth all over. I'd much rather have my 20mbit service that is well peered and seems to give me that bandwidth to everywhere (in the US and Canada at least, and a lot of Europe) than a 1000mbit service that is fast only to other people on it but 500kbit out to most of the net.

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed Slovenian. (1)

s52d (1049172) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342492)

Just have to notice:
> Yes, it is kinda weird to see Slovenia top the US....

FTTH. Two companies (T-2 and Telekom) are rolling it heavily, we are 8th world-wide in FTTH penetration.

DOCSIS 3.0. It is hard to see TV antennas: some 70% of people are on the cable networks or watch TV/IP.

Whoever is still on ADSL is considered "poor".

But, some 10% of population has no access to broadband.

73 from Ljubljana
Iztok

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342150)

Nah -- It's precisely because we had legacy infrastructure with incremental upgrades.. It's a fragile mess. The old soviet bloc countries started over with fiber to wherever

Re:Disclaimer: I am an unabashed American. (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342276)

The military-industry complex won the Cold War. The people on both sides lost.

Speed? (1)

scottwilkins (1224922) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341928)

Interesting, seems my iPhone gets better throughput that some of the states in the US. Go figure. I just wish they'd work on the download/upload ratio on broadband. I agree it should be different, but 10/1 or 20/1 or worse is NOT good. It should be closer to 2/1 or at worst 3/1. Heck, even old analog modems had 2/1 ratios. It just seems worthless to have 20 Mb/s download when I can only get stuff up at less than 1 Mb/s (my current broadband ability). Not to mention if I telecommute, the upload speed kills my productivity!

Re:Speed? (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342200)

Canada is just as bad. I have 15/1 ( which is actually 512k on a good day, mind you). The next option is 25/2, and I doubt they see the 2Mbps either (not to mention that it's $100/mo).

I'd trade it for 5/5 in an instant - but there isn't even an option for this. To get symmetrical UL you need to go on a several hundred dollar per month "business" plan.

I live in a city, not the bloody boondocks. This is the 21st century. $50/mo should give me 100/10.

Don't even get me started on mobile internet. All the telecoms need a stiff backhand if we're ever going to leave the cave-era.

Good but still not complete (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341960)

While it's great to have last mile numbers, instead of useless metrics of advertised performance, there still needs to be a control for other factors, such as cost. For example, if you looked at my speedtest results you would see that I'm getting roughly 10/1 mbps, but what you would not see is that I pay $100/month and use a not-widely-available mlppp offering and multiple connections to get this. It's silly, because each of my modems is individually capable of this speed, but the ISP (the incumbent, not my wholesaler), in its monopoly has chosen to impose artificial barriers thereby enforcing unreasonable fees.

So yeah, I have reasonably fast internet for a Canadian, but at what price?

Re:Good but still not complete (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342772)

So yeah, I have reasonably fast internet for a Canadian, but at what price?

As a Canadian expat living in the developing world, you have my sympathy. But you need to put things in perspective. I just wrote a rant about the paucity of Internet in my part of the world [imagicity.com] that might make you feel a little better.

TL;DR - There are people in Seoul – and countless other cities in the world – who have more bandwidth at their personal disposal than a quarter of a million people here in the Pacific.

Self-selection bias (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#32341986)

I'm pretty sure this study wildly and unpredictably overestimates the average available broandband speed. Not too many people know how to test their download bandwidth, and only people with specific need to check their bandwidth will do so. It also doesn't differentiate between mobile and fixed broadband speeds, which should affect the numbers significantly.

All in all, I really don't think this means anything. It could be possible to use it as a comparative tool by assuming that the proportion of internet savvy geeks is the same across the world, but I have no idea if that assumption is correct.

I just hope that no politician is going to use this data for anything serious.

I dunno... (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342142)

If we have a nation of geeks who were supposed to be getting "up to 1/3/6 Mbps down" who are all going to this site and are never seeing those max speeds in testing, what will it say about the need for truth in advertising? For that matter, connections are neutral - it doesn't matter if I'm a nerd or a jock or whatever, I have a Comcast connection like everyone else.

Instead of griping over it, this might be the time for a small campaign. My own personal plan is to put posts on my blog/whatever telling friends to run the test and answer the survey to see if they're getting what they're supposed to be.

Re:I dunno... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342216)

,quote>If we have a nation of geeks who were supposed to be getting "up to 1/3/6 Mbps down" who are all going to this site and are never seeing those max speeds in testing, what will it say about the need for truth in advertising?

Speedtest.net has always been a great personal test to verify if you have the bandwidth that you expect. My concern is that this is being peddled by Ookla as some sort of representative data set that can tell you something about geographical bandwith averages - which it can't possibly do. This means that anyone using the Net Index as a source of regional bandwidth data is going to get garbage. Watch this being used by telecoms and legislators to argue that the US is doing great in terms of offering competitive bandwidth.

Re:Self-selection bias (1)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342164)

Not to mention the fact it won't take ISP's long to optimize for these kinds of tests, rendering results less than meaningless.

Re:Self-selection bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342554)

That's ok. I measure my speed with BitTorrent. They won't slow that down if they want to look good

Re:Self-selection bias (1)

Logarhythmic (1082321) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342672)

You really think the release of this information is the first time the ISPs have heard of web-based speed test tools? Unfortunately I have no citation to provide, but I would not be surprised in the slightest if I were offered evidence that they've been optimizing for these tests for years.

Am I the only one who has run one of those tests and been a little bit confused that the result is very nearly what's advertised by my ISP, but my actual network performance never seems to agree with the test?

Also (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342378)

There's issues with what servers you use. So suppose your ISP gives you a high physical rate connection, 100mbit say. However they have it set up so it is more or less a bigass WAN, they don't have the bandwidth to their providers to back up that kind of rate. You only get like 5mbps out to the net at large. However, your provider runs an Ookla server. So you go to test and that server is the recommended choice. You choose it, and get a 100mbit rate reported because internally, you get that speed. Thus it appears that you have a really fast connection but overall you don't.

I've seen this kind of thing before. In the Scandinavian countries there was (and probably is) a service that went by the initials BBB. This was apparently 10mbits DSL and this was back in like 2001, when such a thing was pretty rare. However I found that any transfer to them was dog slow. Basically, they only got those rates internally. Because of this they noted their connection as being BBB and tended to share files among themselves largely.

Same deal with some of the connections in Japan. I talked with someone on Slashdot who was happy with their 100mbit connection. Said they could download a CD worth in about a minute. I noted that isn't 100mbit speeds, that is a bit over 10mbit speeds. Still plenty fast, but not what the connection claims. I download a CD worth of data in half that time, which makes sense seeing as my connection is 20mbit.

That is actually one of the reasons I like my current net connection. I find in my tests, both specific tests like connection to these servers and general downloading, that I get my rate to locations all over the US and Canada. My provider has bandwidth and peering such that it seems to not be a problem for me to get my full rate to just about anywhere.

So you don't necessarily get a complete picture with this. When looking at broadband speed, there's a lot of questions that need to be considered to really know how it's speed is.

Re:Also (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342518)

There's issues with what servers you use. So suppose your ISP gives you a high physical rate connection, 100mbit say. However they have it set up so it is more or less a bigass WAN, they don't have the bandwidth to their providers to back up that kind of rate.

The problem is the US is that long local loop lengths (often over 4,000 feet) are the limiting bandwidth factor.

Re:Self-selection bias (2, Informative)

jmrives (1019046) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342730)

From what I can tell, the data they gathered is based on users around the world using their web site, Speedtest.net. So, there is no estimation on the part of the users. Also, the user who is testing their download and upload speeds does not have to be very tech savvy. All they have to do is open a browser, navigate to the site and click on a button to start the test.

23.30 Mbps! (1)

KPexEA (1030982) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342206)

"City ranking requires at least 1,000 unique IP addresses for a given city." Sadly I live in a village with less than 1,000 houses so it won't show up on the results page.

Net Neutrality (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342210)

Does this report on broadband offer any broader insights on Net Neutrality? Would instituting such a regime increase the gap between the US and other countries, or would it widen it and why?

Re:Net Neutrality (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342490)

Does this report on broadband offer any broader insights on Net Neutrality? Would instituting such a regime increase the gap between the US and other countries, or would it widen it and why?

It is likely that much of the difference is due to longer local loop lengths in the US and incumbency of copper. To the extent that Net Neutrality regulations would reduce local provider profitability on capital, they would be less likely to build more COs/POPs to reduce copper distances or install new fiber-to-the-home.

NOT Speedtest.com, Pingtest.com (4, Informative)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342222)

The addresses are Speedtest.net [speedtest.net] and Pingtest.net [pingtest.net] . And yeah, I checked to make sure I got the capitalization correct.

speedtest.com is a squatter, and pingtest.com redirects to bandwidthplace.com, which looks awfully shady. Whois says it was registered by proxy, the Better Business Bureau has no record on that phone number, and neither does Google.

the plural of "anecdote" (2, Interesting)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342278)

first a nugget of fact, then some commentary:

1. When we moved to Portland, Oregon, we had Qwest come out to the house to rewire one of the phone jacks because the mooks who hooked it up to the outside world crosswired the connections- we didn't even have dial tone. After the tech fixed the problem, first thing he did after confirming DSL sync was to run a speed test. I asked him if that was SOP and he said that he was trained to always run a speed test for new customers- he suggested that it might be part of an upsell but that he doesn't like selling so he never comments (oh, you're only getting 750k down, but you're in an area where 7/1 MB service is available... did you know you can upgrade for just $3.50/month!???? ...). YMMV but if this is SOP for Qwest on installs, there is one population of regular testers.

2. I agree with earlier commenters- there is probably a self-selecting sampling bias.

3. Because of #2, any "data" they collect is probably very skewed towards computer-savvy users who are demanding higher-speed services and using their website to check if the service they're getting matches what they're paying for. Unless there are some details of the methodology that they're not telling us about, the survey probably reports higher bandwidth than actually is delivered to the majority of people with net access in those cities. If it's just a simple aggregation & average of whoever decides to click on speedtest.com from inside a given city's IP range, well, that probably tells you something... but it's probably not a good proxy for a complete picture of "last mile" connectivity.

Uploading? (1)

Asterra (1087671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342342)

That's what I'd really like to see. I mean, it doesn't look TOO damning that the US is sitting pretty at 50% of what Japan accomplishes, but let's just take a gander at how their upload pipes compare. I think it would cause some jaws to drop.

outliers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32342356)

when comparing a megabit per dollar, countries with socialized fiber are going to kick the shit out of american "~4 meg broadband"

What's with all the peaks? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342376)

Many countries (Lithuania, Aland Islands, Ghana for example) have sharp peaks in their reported bandwidth. At first I thought it might be tourism related and thus could be a seasonal thing, but these peaks have a period much longer than a year.

Does anyone have any good ideas on what's causing these peaks?

netindex filtered (1)

stacybro (757940) | more than 3 years ago | (#32342620)

Our filter here at work blocks netindex.com under the category "Sex". Being the conspiracy theorist that I am it occurs to me that the best way that an ISP that didn't want you to see this info could keep you from it is to throw it into their filter lists under that category. I am not going to my admin to ask them to whitelist it because the first thing that he is going to ask is "what category is it in?" I don't care about the info that much.
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