Moss: Broadband, What’s Your Speed?

FCC initiates something of a grassroots test of broadband speeds nationwide
Author:
Publish date:
FCC initiates something of a grassroots test of broadband speeds nationwide

Are broadband drag races in your future? Who has the fastest broadband connections in America?

Considering the FCC’s much ballyhooed national broadband plan, it could be considered mildly curious about broadband speeds. Recently it initiated a (very) nonscientific, semi-grassroots test of broadband speeds, nationwide.

Willing participants can download a pair of free software broadband measurement tools from Ookla and M-Lab.

Image placeholder title

Jordan Usdan, an attorney-advisor to the FCC’s Broadband Task Force, recently summarized the testing at the FCC’s Broadband Blog under the heading “Consumer Broadband Test Update.”

The FCC is collecting the data and drawing maps and graphs.

Admittedly the crude test has holes in it; the two apps measure broadband speeds with different methodologies, often revealing significant speed differences on the same line; results are measured and averaged on a state-by-state basis whereas broadband performance is more often dependent upon the local county or city carrier.

But participants, more than 150,000 to date, seem to enjoy it and it does provide a starting point.

Not surprisingly, early results favor tech-heavy East Coast areas such as government-heavy Virginia and financial firm-heavy New Jersey (and the New York City area). No doubt California’s mediocre performance on some tests has to do with undeveloped and underdeveloped parts of the state rather than whiz-bang Silicon Valley.

The study takes most all comers, with home users and mobile users being dominant.

Related

Moss on: Sounds of the Sun

What does the sun sound like? An interesting question, and one that would get your ears burned off if you tried to answer it literally.What does Jupiter sound like or meteors hitting the atmosphere?Tom Ashcraft had the same questions. And

Moss: Spectrum Repurposing, and Lessons for Radio

by Brett MossFCC Chairman Julius Genachowski got the attention of broadcasters recently by bringing in as an advisor a law professor who has floated the idea that the broadcast spectrum, as currently configured, might not be sacrosanct. It might not

Moss on: Whither the Car ‘Radio’

There was a time, for us old timers, when simply having a radio in a car was a bonus. Even better if it actually worked. Then came AM FM car radios and then the possibility of a cassette player built