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Feds Help You Find Your Fastest Internet Service

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the ok-not-good-for-nothin' dept.

Government 163

jfruhlinger writes "Slashdot previously covered the National Broadband Map, designed by the US Federal government to illustrate where the 'digital divide' between those with access to high-speed Internet and those who go without. But, as blogger Ryan Faas points out, you can use it for a much more individualistic purpose: to find your fastest local wired or wireless ISP. Just plug in your name and address and you'll soon see what your options are."

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163 comments

Obligatority (1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305138)

We've upped our security, now up yours!

Re:Obligatority (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305176)

Obligatory, not obligatority. Maybe if obligatory and authority had a child...

Re:Obligatority (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305200)

... and that was supposed to be a reply to "New Internal Cavity X-ray Technology for Airports", not "Feds Help You Find Your Fastest Internet Service". /sigh

Obligatory == Redundant, You Fuckass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305742)

You are a filthy nigger and embody everything that is degrading the signal-to-noise ratio of this site.

Have a nice day!

Re:Obligatority (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306118)

Sadly this thing isn't even worth joking about, it is a 200 million dollar lie that is so full of shit its eyes are brown. Plugged in my mom's address (I've been fighting for a decade to get something better than dialup for her) and it said I had FOUR count them four choices, two of which don't even operate in this area, one which told us point blank if you are even a single block out of the city limits to piss off, and the fourth refuses to run a single inch unless you give them 300% of the costs of the line upfront to ensure their incredible ass raping profits. Oh and they also have a WISP listed that we actually tried and is lucky if it works four hours a night and have worse TOS than Hughesnet.

So yeah, if you are using this thing for anything more than a laugh you are just wasting your time the way the government wasted your money on this fairy tale. So far I've plugged in a dozen addresses and not a single one was close to reality and both the speeds and carriers available were complete bullshit.

Re:Obligatority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306282)

The map also says that for my neighborhood AT&T offers 10 - 25 Mb. I pay a premium for 6Mb service(the fastest I can get) and I rarely ever get more than 3Mb on speedtest.net

The map is such a lie.

Nathan

Betting pool (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305204)

I'll start the betting pool now: how long before we start hearing reports of favouritism, reports of ISPs being given lower ratings because they host services the government doesn't like, and other sorts of corruption.
/tinfoil

Re:Betting pool (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305330)

Well I don't know about that, but I wonder how many people will realize this is broadband only, and that doesn't include providers like Time Warner/Road Runner. It shows AT&T in my area (may God help you if you use them in this area) and Verizon (lower speeds that ATT according to the website) as the only choices. I switched to RR from ATT months back and hope to NEVER have to use ATT broadband ever again.

Re:Betting pool (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305424)

It shows Time Warner for my area (10-25 Mbps) So I am guessing you are just seeing an example of incomplete information for the map. Not that is any better.

Re:Betting pool (2)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305816)

In my area, it shows Verizon as providing 50mbps to 100mbps DSL. Which is false. So yes, the data could use some work.

Re:Betting pool (1)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306448)

I'm in the same position, with listed speeds much higher than any provider in the area will actually sell me. Instead of just posting about it here, though, we can help to improve the data. Since we all want faster connections, it's in our interest to notify them when a provider is reporting an area covered at a higher speed than is actually available in that area.

Clicking the provider name will expand some details, and then mousing over the bullet next to "source" will show the agency that uploaded that data to the national database. In my case, it's an office of my state government, and they have a speed test and contact information on their site. Your local site will vary, but contacting them about the error will get it corrected much faster than posting about it on /. will.

Re:Betting pool (1)

Rick17JJ (744063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306514)

For my address, it shows Qwest offering 6 - 10 Mbps, but the Qwest webpage shows only 1.5 Mbps being available here. I am currently connected to the Internet on a Qwest 1.5 Mbps DSL connection. The broadband map also shows Verizon and two other options being available. I am not sure if those choices and speeds are correct or not.

Re:Betting pool (1)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305434)

Cable is definitely broadband, and that site shows Time Warner among the list of providers in my area. It does mention that the data is only updated every 6 months, so maybe Time Warner moved into your area less than 6 months ago? Either that or Time Warner may not be accurately reporting its coverage area to the government.

Re:Betting pool (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305528)

Cable may or may not be broadband. The new definition of broadband is based on speed. IIRC, it's 4mbps. Cable can offer that, but doesn't always.

Re:Betting pool (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305666)

>>>broadband is based on speed

It seems odd to define bandwidth as Megabits/second rather than Megahertz. That's like saying a 200 kilohertz FM station is 200 kbit/s wide.

The OECD defines it as 256 k.
The FCC is 4 Mbit/s.

Re:Betting pool (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305762)

And my definition is "fast enough to handle two full bitrate (18 Mbps) video feeds in both directions" (i.e., 40 Mbps either way)... which is something I don't anticipate seeing anytime soon. (4 Mbps/768 kbps.) :/

-uso.

Re:Betting pool (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306276)

>>>(18 Mbps) video feeds in both directions"

Why do you need 20 Mbit/s up speed? Most of the stuff we do online is web browsing, so the data is primarily headed downstream. Me, I'd happily trade a 20/20 line for a 35/5 line, so that four people can watch TV in the same house.

Re:Betting pool (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306416)

>>>so that [two] people can watch TV in the same house.

Corrected. Also I'm not convinced you need 18 Mbit/s for video. 18 is for US ATSC (MPEG2 HDTV), but if you use MPEG4 AVC then you only need 9 Mb/s and have no loss in quality.

Re:Betting pool (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305654)

Actually it is baseband, but the marketing folks have now ruined even more of our language.

Re:Betting pool (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306200)

Actually it is baseband, but the marketing folks have now ruined even more of our language.

Neither DSL nor cable are baseband. I'm not sure if the term is meaningful with fiber.

Advertised speeds, not useful (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305218)

Checked my location, advertised speed and reality are not the same.

Thanks but try again.

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (2)

yogidog98 (1800862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305530)

Agreed. advertised != actual. I hope government broadband policy isn't based on the assumption that provider advertised speeds are accurate... or honest.

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (1)

diGitalRchitect (1064268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305844)

Advertised speed != purchased speed either. You can click the "engage" link to either confirm information or provide additional information.

Re:No latencies, not useful (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305992)

What about latencies? Those can be as important or even more important than download & upload speeds. Try doing VoIP over a 300 ms latency satellite connection.

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306158)

Same here. The fastest service AT&T will provide at my address is 3Mbps DSL, but this website says they offer 10-25Mbps service.

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306480)

They don't even offer it at my house, but the map says I can get 25Mbit from them....

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306372)

I checked my addresses and they're not even close. Claims I could get FIOS out in the sticks and that Comcast offers 100-10000mbps. (Actually tops out at 50mbps in that area which is still pretty darn fast.) Claims my primary location only has 3mbps DSL and T-Mobile available when DSL is available at twice that speed and cable is available up to 20mbps along with 4G from Clear/Sprint which runs in the 8-10mbps range.

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (1)

jburroug (45317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306616)

Yeah I noticed that when they showed Comcast at the top of the heap for my area with 50-100mbps. Which is a fucking joke, I never got those speeds with them even when the connection was working...

useles map, data is on country level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306642)

there's a little text saying "measured speed is on country level"

that's why at&t at the place i'm in, which only covers via EDGE, shows up as 1.5-3mb

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306686)

I find if you move the decimal point over a few places to the left, you get an accurate understanding of what to expect. I'm listed in a 10Mbps region, and I get a very reliably disappointing 150kbps. I haven't been surprised in years at the throughput I've gotten from Comcast.

My buddy a few streets up floored me by getting 1250kbps last night, though. It pays to live in the posh part of town, I guess.

Re:Advertised speeds, not useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306692)

Yup. My DSL provider (Centurylink) claims to have 10-25Mbs available here, but as far as I can tell there is only 3Mbs available and even that is usually beyond what they actually seem to have available (not infrequently it seems to drop to 10Kbs for extended periods of time). And that doesn't even count their complete outages.

Worthless (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305268)

I entered my address and got back no results (apparently my 2 providers disappeared). Then I entered my city and got back three providers, Cable, DSL, and Verizon. Only Verizon doesn't really provide broadband here (except for their 3G phone coverage), and they got the max speed laughably wrong on the other two. Our DSL provider is listed as offering 10-25 Mbps service, when 3 Mbps is the fastest they actually offer here. They're closest to the mark on our cable provider, but still wrong (listing 10-25 Mbps, when 12 is the fastest they actually offer here).

Re:Worthless (1)

Ken Hall (40554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306162)

I put in mine and it shows no wired providers, only wireless. I had 8 mbps DSL four years ago from Bellsouth/AT&T, and have even faster now from Comcast.

Not accurate results (4, Informative)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305284)

The National Broadband Map gives erroneous results. For example, it states that Verizon has broadband service for my address, but it doesn't.

Re:Not accurate results (1)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305344)

It doesn't list Insight as a provider for my area, yet that's what I have and it's far faster than anything on the list.

Re:Not accurate results (1)

arazor (55656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305612)

The National Broadband Map gives erroneous results. For example, it states that Verizon has broadband service for my address, but it doesn't.

Same for me as well. It listed at least 6 providers for my area but in fact there are zero providers of broadband in my area.

Re:Not accurate results (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305684)

Do you live in a cave?
Satellite access is available near everywhere, if you have a working cell phone odds are 3G Internet service is available.

Re:Not accurate results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305854)

1.5Mbit with the same bandwidth as a dialup modem (15.4GB/mo is 50Kbit/s sustained over 30 days) and ten times the latency is not broadband. Not to mention the service itself costs twice as much even including an extra dedicated phone line.

Re:Not accurate results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305636)

You can report yourself to be in a dead spot using the tools on the website. That will affect the next report.

Re:Not accurate results (1)

diGitalRchitect (1064268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305766)

It doesn't say that Verizon offers broadband service at your address.

The list below contains broadband providers that have reported offering service to all or part of the area that is shaded on the map to the right...

It says that Verizon advertizes the ability to provide broadband service for the area that your address falls in. It might only be in a single office building in your area. This might not be any help to you, but it doesn't necessarily mean the information in inaccurate.

Re:Not accurate results (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306174)

It shows Qwest's maximum bandwidth at my house as dialup, but I'm typing this on 3Mbps DSL. I could have (and have had) 8Mbps here, but that would have reduced my outbound bandwidth and I run a light-duty webserver.

YRO, RLY? (2, Interesting)

arielCo (995647) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305314)

Why is this exactly in Your Rights Online? Are /.ers so afraid of entering their ZIP code anywhere?

Re:YRO, RLY? (1)

nzap (1985014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305760)

Why is this exactly in Your Rights Online? Are /.ers so afraid of entering their ZIP code anywhere?

Some people believe that broadband is a right. At the very least, it is a sign that we're not an undeveloped nation. Access to communication can help citizens become more informed and involved (whether it actually does is another question). Unfortunately, many people across the US have limited or no options. I'm one of those people with only one option.

Pure Bullshit (4, Interesting)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305352)

That site says comcast offers 1 gbps service to my house.

Re:Pure Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306048)

The data includes the maximum advertised speed by region, and a region may be quite large. Some providers will sell business-class service at 1Gbps in a region. So that becomes the maximum advertised speed in the region. Further the data collection effort does not distinguish between services offered to residences only, businesses only, or both. The data is also not perfect. I noticed that in my area, Verizon Wireless is simply not mentioned, which is quite bogus. So in short, your mileage may vary.

Re:Pure Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306204)

It amazes me that they think this was an effective use of over $250 million dollars. If they had simply set up a proper crowd-sourcing system including actual speed tests plus enough marketing to get people to help fill it in, we would have ended up with actually useful data. Hell, they could have given a $3-5 reward to every single residential end-point in the entire US for providing info and still come in radically under that budget. And honestly, how much time does it take to go to comcast.com or twtelecom.com and look at their plans for a given region to at least get some basic sanity checks on this data??

Re:Pure Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306368)

If they had simply set up a proper crowd-sourcing system including actual speed tests plus enough marketing to get people to help fill it in, we would have ended up with actually useful data.

You mean the collaboration between SamKnows and the FCC? linky [samknows.com]

Next step... have some options... (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305454)

That service would really useful if I had more than two high speed options to pick from. But I don't. And neither does most of the United States. And if I define high speed as more than 4 Mb/s, then I have one option: Comcast, which just happens to be the most hated company in America.*

Mid-level ISPs used to have to change everyone the same rates - it's was a rule. That got chucked in the early 2000s wave of deregulation, and immediately afterwards the big telecos gave the local ISPs impossibly high rates for upstream connection. They got bulk-pricing deals that were more expensive than the telecos, who also sold retail ISP service, was charging the public. And now, those ISPs are all gone. Meanwhile the big ISPs carved up the cities they wanted to serve, and that was that. Monopoly secured.

Verizon/Fios was supposed to be a solution, but guess what: no new fiber going down these days. Its not worth it to a company that has to hit quarterly revenue targets. And it never will be.

*According to polling of customers.

Tinfoil Time (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305480)

Who wants to bet that the popular explanation for the inaccurate information on the map is bribes? $50* to add 1MB/s to listed speed or remove .5MB/s from a competitors?

*amounts arbitrarily chosen

Broken? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305482)

I typed in my zip code and it showed coverage on the map, half a state away (PA). Not even close to the same place. That does me no good.

My provider (WideOpenWest) isn't listed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305488)

My ISP isn't on the list, and Time Warner Cable's speeds are grossly overstated.

Re:My provider (WideOpenWest) isn't listed (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305634)

I'm guessing their top tier service of Turbo Plus will burst at that speed but not for continuous downloads.

25Mbps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305496)

Wow, my provider advertises 25Mbps!

I usually am lucky to get 200kbps...

Fail fail, and fail.gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305500)

Lists one of the local ISPs, gets the speed wrong, doesn't list the actual owner of the copper they'd be buying from.

My results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305536)

I only have 2 local broadband options, but 78 sexual offenders are near by.

It Works! (1)

organgtool (966989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305538)

...to find your fastest local wired or wireless ISP. Just plug in your name and address and you'll soon see what your options are.

It works! I asked it for fast internet connections in my area and It told me to "go fish".

Yay (1)

wakebrdr (13565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305544)

Another unnecessary government program. Long live big government!

Re:Yay (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305596)

It would be useful, but only if it were even REMOTELY accurate. As it is, it's worse than useless (in my area it made the broadband situation sound a LOT better than it actually is).

Re:Yay (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305734)

Honestly, this is the sort of thing the government should do. For capitalism to work you need informed actors. Where it falls short is that it is using company reported speeds rather than actual speeds for these connections.

50-100 Mbps??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305640)

That shows 50-100Mbps through Comcast for my area, but such speeds are only available to business customers willing to pay $200 / month. Residential customers get a paltry 12Mbps.

Why would they need my name? (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305674)

The summary is wrong, but so is the site. It didn't ask for my name, the map it draws for my ZIP code is wrong, it doesn't report the proper speed for one of the providers, and actually fails to list my ISP altogether, which has been around before 6/30/2010. Pretty much what I expected.

Sorry I'm Paranoid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35305682)

Site is not encrypted, wants to know your location (firefox plugin said so) wants your name and your address and obviously knows your IP address....Seems suspicious.

The site lies (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305708)

The site claims that various providers offer speeds to my house that are about 3 times what they actually offer, and about 4-5 times what they actually deliver. If this site is based on voluntary reporting by carrier, they are lying. If it's based on anything else, I'd really like to know where all the bad data is coming from.

Re:The site lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306222)

I was dissatisfied with the inaccuracy that I saw from this site as well.

However, if the reason for the inaccuracy is bad or incomplete data, then it's worth it to me to put forth a minute or two to contribute information from my point of view. Especially if it were to correct voluntary reporting on the part of carriers. So I went through and indicated that only two of the 7 or 8 providers listed actually provide service at my home address.

1. Comcast
2. Clear

How would you like those for your options? I'm not happy and if this application/system ever gets to the point of having reliable data, then the truth of the lack of competition will be illustrated within.

And what will come of that? Well, yeah, I'm not keeping my hopes up.

What a way to encourage competition!! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305746)

I have been bitching for a long time about the "competition" in the market is a race to the bottom rather than a race to the top. What I mean by this is that various providers, not only ISPs but wireless carriers of voice and data alike, are scaling the quality and quantity of the services provided in order to lower their costs. They are all playing a balancing act to see how bad their service can get before they lose too many income providing customers. And as one major player offers less, the others feel more comfortable offering less as well.

This results in a situation in which quality of service is a race to the bottom rather than a race to the top providing higher quality for lower cost as was the traditional definition of competition.

And in all of my bitching, I was calling for these telecoms (and ISPs) to be ruled as a utility to be covered and controlled by the various government utilities commissions so that they can be regulated in ways such as their minimum quality of service. (This already exists for POTS lines, so why not wireless phone service and other broadband services as well?) (And I still think this is a good idea, BTW)

But to use a national broadband study web site as a means of stirring up what I will call "positive growth competition" over "negative growth competition" is a complete win for the consumer. I only hope it catches on and that the reporting is fair and honest and free from the meddling of the telecoms who are exposed as being a "race to the bottom" competitor.

I rather expect this site not to last long under political influence.

Article Title (2)

dbosso (457577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305780)

Feds Help You Find Your Fastest Advertised Internet Service

...there, I fixed that for you. That's not even right though. I'm in Verizon country but there's no FIOS in my whole county, yet they list FIOS speeds. Looks pretty useless to me.

db

I live in a good area it seems (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305800)

I already knew this much though -- my torrent speeds are freakishly fast!! I see as much as 2MBps. It is rather sick compared to previous locations. But now I can see where in addition to my provider, there is Verizon (which I hate and will never willingly be a customer) and some wireless carriers delivering respectable speeds as well.

It is really good to know what my options are at any give time. It is also excellent to know what my options are when I am planning to move. Turns out I may be moving in 3 to 6 months and this will certainly help in selecting a new place to live.

Re:I live in a good area it seems (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306024)

Uh, if you're not just being sarcastic there, you might want to actually verify those results before you move. This thing is not very accurate (it *greatly* exaggerated what was available in my area).

Re:I live in a good area it seems (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306294)

Excellent advice! I'll have to knock on some doors with my laptop and ask if I can do a bandwidth test. :) Failing that, I'll scan for unsecured wireless to get a rough sample. ;)

Anyway, fair enough to say "your mileage may vary."

Creeped out (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305918)

Ok, color me creeped out. All I did was put in my zip code, and it brought up a map of the block I live on... Not sure where they pulled that data.

Re:Creeped out (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306232)

Probably from the USPS? They make it freely available on their website. Zip codes are surprisingly narrow.

Re:Creeped out (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306442)

Probably from the USPS? They make it freely available on their website. Zip codes are surprisingly narrow.

My zip isn't THAT narrow. They had highlighted the exact block that I live on, and it's not the center of said zip code.

Re:Creeped out (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306538)

They just got lucky, my zip also gives a block sized area mapped, and yes that block is in the zip code but it's not the entire zip code.

Re:Creeped out (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306592)

"""
If I enter a city, zip code or county on the homepage, do the results show a list of broadband providers for the entire city, zip code or county?
No, the website will display the broadband providers that reported offering service in the census block in the center of the city, zip code or county. If you are looking for a summary of the broadband characteristics for larger areas, try using the Analysis section of the website.
"""

Note that you can validate their data (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35305920)

If you hit the Expand All link, you'll see details for each provider in your chosen area. Over to the left, there are links where you can up/downvote the info for each provider.

For my area, the providers were correct, but the speeds listed were for their fastest and most expensive service options - 100 Mbps for Verizon FIOS and Comcast DOCSIS 3, when the service most people choose is 10 Mbps or so.

Re:Note that you can validate their data (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306100)

All I see is a "Confirm this provider serves here: y/n" choice. I don't see any option for "The speed reported is way more than what is actually offered in this area" or any way to correct this.

Re:Note that you can validate their data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306434)

Hover over the dot to the left of Source. In my case this gave me a link to an external site. I clicked that then found the contact information there and sent them an e-mail.

Site problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306070)

Thanks guys someone broke the site. Could be the huge amount of traffic sent from Slashdot, wish we had a word for that.

Mine's wrong. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306164)

If you look at mine, the local T1 provider is ranked "equal" to AT&T, and the local Cable Co (which is the best (non-business) option) isn't listed at all. And AT&T is only listed as a "Wireless" provider, which isn't true. And Verizon's Wireless is reported at 3-6mbps, which it's not, since we're still in the mobile dark ages.

And AT&T is completely full of shit. They claim to offer "up to" 3mbs, but you never get more than 1.5. Doesn't matter where in town.

If I wanted to read the press releases from all of these companies, I could do that myself.

Isn't this already being done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306198)

Check out www.digitallanding.com, you can see what ISP's are in your area, see pricing, speeds and order...what exactly does this government initiative provide over this existing service?

Behind the times? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35306224)

Australia had a website for this purpose since 1998, which has proven to be *mostly* accurate over the years. It's primary pu

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whirlpool_%28website%29[/url]

Guess it doesn't do business (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306256)

I entered my office building into it. It's the most connected building in Manhattan, but according to the site, nothing greater than 25Mbps is available.

I wonder how AT&T/Bellsouth managed to... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306326)

...get the entire area around my neighborhood listed as having 10mbps-25mbps speeds when they have repeatedly informed me that there is no possible option above 1.5mbps download in my area... Hmmm... Did the government just grab this data from their marketing info? LOL...

This map is completely useless (5, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306334)

Using my address, I see 6 ISPs offering >3Mbps service. All of that is completely wrong.

1) Verizon: 50 - 100Mbps.
When I tried to get Verizon DSL, they told me it wasn't supported in my area. The reality is it is a lower middle class area and many people on my street can't afford internet access. So they probably could provide it, but don't bother.
2) Cavalier Telephone: 50 - 100Mbps
Ironically, they use Verizon's lines. Their service was so bad it was getting to be less than the 384Mbps they claimed it was. I canceled a few years ago.
3) Clearwire: 10 - 25Mbps
This is a wireless provider, and I don't even think it can theoretically reach those kinds of speeds. I stopped by one of their booths at the mall and they can actually tell you the signal-to-noise ratio for a given address and they told me that service probably wouldn't work here. That is believable, since I don't get cell service at my house either.
4) Comcast: 50 - 100Mbps
I signed-up for Comcast business class internet and they called me and apologized and said their lines couldn't handle anything more than their low-end 3Mbps service. But it sure beat Cavalier Telephone so I went with it. But even at their "turbo-boost" they still only claim 12, so what the heck is with 50 - 100?
5, 6) T-mobile claiming 6 - 10 Mbps (wirelessly? I don't think so...) and Covad claiming 3 - 6 Mbps.
Perhaps I should switch to Covad for being the only one to make an honest claim.

Um no, no it cant (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306498)

If I bang in my zip code it returns sprint, and nothing else

never mind, ATT, Comcast, Charter, Clearwire, all the cel co's and the sat co's

the map was nothing but a huge waste of time and money and does not show anything other than incompetence, what was going to the ISP's website and typing in a zip code too fucking hard uncle sam?

Duopoly's Suck (1)

lordDallan (685707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306504)

This map isn't much help when every major market I've ever lived in has effectively had a broadband duopoly of abusive phone provider vs. abusive cable provider.

Report the inaccuracies to them (3, Informative)

InvisiBill (706958) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306870)

http://www.broadbandmap.gov/faq#ms4 [broadbandmap.gov]

What can I do if I think that the information about my address is incorrect?
If you see information that you believe is incorrect, please let us know [broadbandmap.gov]. You can let us know if you believe the provider is not available at that location. Please remember that the search results show information about the census block or road segment. Generally, if broadband is available within part of a census block or road segment, it is available across all of that area, but not always.

Why fastest? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306954)

Do the great unwashed masses really need to eck out that last 500KB/sec from their ISP? Does it really matter that "naughty farm animals" loads in 1/8 of a second instead of 1/4 of a second?

I know, Netflix, Hulu and more recently Amazon have finally made movies on demand practical, but past about 10 Mb/sec does speed really matter?

I recently called my ISP and asked to be reduced to the slowest speed they offer -- 15 Mb/sec -- to save money and because even as a geek doing geeky things, I still wasn't using a sizable fraction of the bandwidth (25 Mb/sec) I had before. And guess what -- the Roku box, and Netflix plugin for Media Center, continued to function just fine.

This doesn't stop the local competitor (who will remain nameless but starts with a C) from coming to my door twice a month with promises of blazing speed if I'd only switch to them. I try to explain that I really don't need that kind of speed, and they look at me like I had said I really don't breathe very much.

I suspect a lot of this "get the screamingist bandwidth you can afford!" is just marketing to consumers that don't understand what bandwidth buys you. (And doesn't buy you.)

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