Federal Communications Commission

Transparency in Broadband Performance - iPhone Apps, Broadband Tests, and other cool new tools...

March 11th, 2010 by Jordan Usdan - Acting Director, Public-Private Initiatives

As Joel Gurin previewed in his March 5th post, today the FCC launched a set of digital tools -- the Consumer Broadband Test and the Broadband Dead Zone Report -- enabling consumers to test their broadband service and report areas where broadband is not available for purchase at their household.

The FCC Consumer Broadband Test, currently in beta, allows users to measure the quality of their broadband connections in real-time for both fixed and mobile broadband.   The broadband test measures broadband quality indicators such as speed and latency, and reports that information to consumers and the FCC.  Test your broadband quality now at, or download the new FCC Broadband Test app in the Apple and Android App stores now for free.

Here is a screenshot of the FCC Mobile Broadband Test on the iPhone:

In addition to reporting broadband performance to users, these tools enable the FCC to gather data to help the agency analyze broadband performance and availability on a geographic basis across the United States.  (Read more information on privacy considerations here.)  In the future, the FCC anticipates making additional broadband testing applications available for consumer use and across different mobile platforms. The FCC does not endorse any specific testing application.

The National Broadband Plan, which will be unveiled next week, also contains a series of recommendations aimed at helping consumers understand the gap between actual broadband speeds delivered and the maximum speed tiers advertised. Working recommendations include a scientific third-party study on actual broadband performance, a working group to help inform standards for broadband speeds, and further proposals on disclosure needs for fixed broadband services, such as a “digital label.” These proposals will further the goals of disclosure and transparency and empower consumers to drive competition in a technology-neutral manner.
I hope consumers take advantage of the tools made available today.  As these tests are currently launched in Beta version, we seek the public’s input on additional features, testing metrics and testing platforms that can be added in the future.

50 Responses to “Transparency in Broadband Performance - iPhone Apps, Broadband Tests, and other cool new tools...”

  1. Steve Debardelaben says:

    I own a <a href="">computer repair service in Houston TX.</a> and in Houston, the broadband speeds are all over the place. A large ISP here is Comcast, and they will sell you service according to your download limit. I cannot tell you the number of times that customer has asked me to gauge if they are getting the bandwidth they are ayi9ng for.

    When small business gets an ISP they expect a consistent broadband speed. But with Comcast at least, the speed will vary greatly. I spent two complete days at a local insurance company arguing with Comcast about their speed. After this time I finally got support to look at the local nodes, and sure enough, they had a problem in the neighborhood with a device and agreed to fix it. They called later and said it was fixed, but it was not. Before it was all over this small business had to pyme for 29 hours work jut trying to get Comcast to do its job.

    Contrary to what you might think, I am not complaining about Comcast, but rather that the US Government should have a watchdog group that consumers can complain to that can take action on their behalf, or better yet a watchgroup that monitors ISP actual speeds and can levy penalties when they fail to meet their specs.

  2. Guest4545 says:

    Nice article thanks!

  3. Guest says:

    ISP's should look into the robots the oil companies use to scrub their lines. Imagine having all the cabling and fiberoptics updated whenever they became available at the cost of the lines without the labor. Well much less labor and much more quickly. Less jumping through hoops to get permits less repair less overhead period. Start small do a little at a time with good access and organization by motivated people to find out what works and the pitfalls. It'll pay for itself many times over.

  4. Hendrix says:

    "we seek the public’s input on additional features"

    Is this the proper forum to ask for features?

    I would really like it if the program would automatically run once an hour and save the information to my own computer. Then I would have a documented log that I could bring to my ISP to show them that I am not getting the service that I pay for.

  5. guest21 says:

    Let me see, we ( .gov ) will run a test,
    we will not tell you the results ( though you paid for them ),
    we will use it for future policy ( it's a faulty beta ),
    This will influence the national plan ( har, har ).
    "The National Broadband Plan, which will be unveiled next week, also contains a series of recommendations aimed at helping consumers understand the gap between actual broadband speeds delivered and the maximum speed tiers advertised."
    - Only people who find out about this Test can enter.
    - By the way the Plan is already written.
    - It is the consumers fault, that they don't understand the misrepresentations of the providers.
    To change the reference - my car gets 250 mpg maximum going downhill in Colorado thus max mpg is obviously 250 mpg, the consumer must understand that ANY real use will be lower, at 24mpg.
    The question is - who's brother-in-law needed a job?

  6. Guest says:

    I use AT&T in San Diego. I pay for DSL Elite, $35 per month. I am supposed to get up to 6Mbps down and 768Kbps up. Your tests show I am consistently running 5.1+ Mbps down and 650+Kbps up. The speed range for this level of DSL service is not posted on AT&T's web site. I felt cheated when I first found out by calling them that they provide 3-6 Mbps down and 512-768Kbps up.

    In other words they do not go out of their way to make clear that you are only assured a minimum of 3 down and 1/2 up.

    Very irritating.

  7. Guest999999 says:

    CAn this date be used to tell your ISP's that they are charging you more and providing less

  8. Brandy says:

    The app needs to tell you to turn off your wifi connection. Because all it does is test your wifi speed, not the mobile broadband provider's speed.

  9. Mudd Shark says:

    Hey FCC. Why don't you go out and ask the ISPs to tell you where they do and don't offer service? And why do you go out and conduct some scientific measurements of actual speeds, instead of giving the world another clone that provides no real useful information.

  10. Jerry Stackhouse says:

    I hope this line was a mistake "these tools enable the FCC to gather data to help the agency analyze broadband performance and availability on a geographic basis across the United States." The FCC cannot use this information for decisions. These are self-selected tests and hopefully at least someone at the FCC recognizes the danger with those. I mean why don't you just put an online poll on the front page of your website and "let the people decide"...

  11. Luigi Montanez says:

    Does the FCC plan to publish the data collected from these apps? Making the data public would allow citizens to make informed choices when it comes to broadband.

  12. Jason Livingood says:

    In the form that a user submits prior to starting the test, I would recommend you collect data on whether or not the user's host is wired or wireless, and what operating system is used, since those are typically significant factors that influence end user speed.

    Also, how many speed testing servers are there, where are they located, and how is the test configured (number of connections used, file sizes, etc.)?

    Lastly, how does a user know if the Google M-Labs tool or the Ookla tool has been used?

  13. Guest says:

    Where do public send the test result?

  14. Brett Glass says:

    As an ISP who actually cares about giving his customers what they pay for, I am very concerned about these tests. They will do little or nothing to determine a connection's actual bandwidth or quality.

    My network routes different types of traffic through different connections which are optimized for that type of traffic. But the test doesn't "know" this; it tries to access random, uncacheable data through our cache and thus gives results which are not typical of what users will experience. This hurts the outcome. So does the fact that our network does traffic shaping with bursting (a technique which optimizes it for interactive activities while deprioritizing unattended tasks such as long downloads) -- a feature which our users love.

    In short, the tests are "dumb" tests designed for "dumb" networks. My network uses innovative, "smart" techniques which optimize the bang per buck for real life users but not for these artificial and unrealistic benchmarks.

    The tests also, for some reason I cannot determine, report wildly varying numbers for jitter. And they access only certain destinations on the Net, including Google and "", thus biasing the results in favor of ISPs who happen to be close, network-wise, to those sites.

    And they don't make sure that the user's connection is not congested by other traffic, nor that the user's computer doesn't have a high processing load which hurts its responsiveness and hence the speed of the connection.

    In short, these tests appear designed to give the worst possible appraisal of an ISP's network, and to penalize an ISP for implementing innovative technologies that optimize the use of scarce and expensive backbone bandwidth. The Commission should not discourage the development or use of such technologies, especially in areas (such as mine) where Internet backbone bandwidth is extremely expensive, and its use must be highly optimized and carefully rationed to provide reasonable prices to consumers.

  15. Guest says:

    Jitter test fails using 64 bit Java.

  16. Guest says:

    It's good that the FCC is doing this. Using Java over flash is better still. However, the ISP's that use the Powerboost technology are going to give erroneous results and will NOT accurately reflect the true actual throughput. Unless this test uses more than 20 second bursts. Something equivalent to approximately 100MB download would render more accurate results.

  17. Don says:

    I would hate to see an over-focus on just bandwidth, without also looking at latency and loss and jitter. Consumer quality of experience is heavily driven by latency (since TCP ramps slowly). Loss is very important, jitter not as much unless you are doing low-latency interactive work.

    Many speed tests and reports focus on headline speeds, but ignore the factor of latency. Latency is hard to correct for, and often requires network architecture changes rather than just capital investment.

  18. Richard Bennett says:

    I think it's safe to say that bursting or "burst boosting" if you will is the most common form of traffic shaping on today's Internet. It's great for people who are surfing the Web, as it boosts the performance of the most visible interactive aspect of the modern Internet.

    The trouble with these tests is that they don't try to model any particular kinds of applications, and that should be the first thing the tester thinks of when designing the test: try a stream that looks like VoIP, try one that looks like a web page, try one that looks like YouTube, and then try one that looks like P2P. Instead of doing that, they do one generic test. It so happens that the smarter ISPs have optimized their bursting parameters for the generic case that Speedtest uses.

    I ran both the M-Labs and Ookla tests from the FCC today, and got wildly different results: Ookla had me at 25 Mbps down and 2 ms of jitter, and M-Labs had me at 14.6 and 112ms. This disparity is to vast that it only says something about the tools, and not a thing about my connection speed and quality.

    If you want a global view of Internet connection speeds, see the data from Speedtest drawn from users all over the world:

    It shows that users in the USA can easily buy a connection that's as fast as the average speed in the countries with the highest average speeds, so the fuss about national rankings is largely a question of what tier of service people choose to pay for.

  19. Guest says:

    c/net has a good one as well.

  20. Stu Singer says:

    The test does not take into account the 'Blast' effect. The 'Blast' is an short increase in speed provided by certain Cable ISPs. In my case, the test showed I had a speed of 30mps when my actual speed beyond the 'blast' is 8 mps. Other tests are able to take this effect into account.

  21. Brandon says:

    I am not an ISP. I am a customer.

    I think it's a great thing that these tests are designed for dumb networks. These so-called optimized smart networks are designed to penalize users who engage in bandwidth intensive tasks. It is good that the consumer can be made aware of just how badly they've been penalized. This allows for consumers to be better informed in making their choice regarding broadband carrier.

    I understand why ISPs would like to cherry-pick their customers to exclude all the high-intensity bandwidth users. The cost is significantly lower per user when you do so. However, what exactly is the point of broadband when you actively attempt to restrict the user's ability to actually utilize it? They might as well be on dial-up. Except, this way the ISP gets to charge broadband rates without actually having to live up to their promised performance.

    They claim that Internet backbone bandwidth is extremely expensive and scarce. Why is that the case? The United States got started developing our national broadband infrastructure before any other nation. Yet today we find ourselves in the peculiar situation of being nowhere even near the top in terms of either capacity or price value. Other nations are able to offer far greater speeds at far cheaper prices.

    The real solution is to be found in an approach combining significant investment in our national infrastructure to bring about far greater capacity availability while implementing net neutrality rules to ensure the consumer actually sees a benefit from these bandwidth upgrades.

  22. Bill Wing says:

    As someone who has been involved in networks for both the government and private industry I'd like to comment on Mr. Glass' thoughts. First and foremost, although everything he says it correct, I think the effects will be small in comparison to the much larger performance differences between, for example, a good cable system and a poor DSL system. My numbers (just measured) come in at 23 Mbps down, 5.3Mbps up, which is surprisingly close to what my cable provider says I should be getting. The comparison with my neighbors down the road who signed up with AT&T for their heavily promoted DSL service and are seeing around 200 Kbps is stark. Megabits/sec vs. Kilobits/sec. Sure - the OS, the processor speed (and its load), the in-home network, and the head-end ISP's architecture will all make a difference, but those differences will be small compared to differences like these.

    I hope the FCC does publish the data.

  23. dan hix says:

    my isp no longer calls my service "broadband" for the simple reason they don't want to provide the minimum 768k download speed. my basic "high speed" connection is limited to 80% of 512k maximum. of course i can get "up to" 12mb download speeds if i want to pay more for the internet connection than i do for the phone service. the tests my isp ran to insure i was within their service area were the same as these. if they use them to verify download speeds, why shouldn't we?

  24. Mike Laird says:

    Any test has pros and cons. Several "cons" have been described above. The "pro" is that if a large number of data points (millions?) are collected via this test, then via the laws of large numbers, we will finally have some sense of the average data transport situation for real users in a typical web browsing situation. Thanks, FCC. Just publish lots of details about how the test was conducted, and how the data was analyzed. Even better would be to make anonymized data available, and let critics do their own analysis. Go for it.

  25. Jroy says:

    The variability of these test is WHAT users of these services are using. That is why these tests are actually accurate. I mean isn't that the point.

  26. Stephen says:

    Thank you Brett. I was coming here to post a similar comment.

    Cox Communications, my ISP, provides a large burst of speed at the beginning of any download, as I'm sure is true for every ISP these days. Cox calls this "PowerBoost". This helps web sites load quite fast indeed and I'm not complaining about it, but it skews test results in a very big way.

    This government speed test, just like all speed tests, shows that I have a 26 Mbps connection. Good gracious I only wish that this were true! That would give me 3 MB/s, which would blow my mind. If I'm lucky I get 1 MB/s, which is about an 8 Mbps connection, but that's rare. I can hit speeds of 1 MB/s ONLY if I use a download manager which is designed to make several connections to the same server at the same time as a means to download a single file.

    But wait, there's more.

    Cox offers a 3 Mbps connection as its most basic connection. The next one up is a 12 Mbps connection. If you look at the numbers in this post you'll see that I am not getting the 12 Mbps that I should be getting. I barely get 8. This is when I have ensured that nothing is making use of my network and that my computer is not under load.

    As you can see, there are real issues here. I commend the idea of the government trying to get a real picture of things, but as Brett has said there needs to be a better test. This does not give a real picture of things This one gives a completely inaccurate view of what my connection actually is, and it does not take into consideration what I am getting versus what I should be getting.

    Here are the numbers for you to see for yourself:

  27. Someone says:

    Apple and Android only - what about Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Palm users?

  28. Guest says:

    If the data reveals widespread failures of wireless and wired providers to provide claimed speeds and access, will the FCC take any enforcement action, or will this all be written off as an experiment in the gullibility of the American consumer?

  29. Mike says:

    I think that the Govt has an interest in driving the speed of connections up all over the country, every other country is doing this as they consider is a strategic resource for its people.

    The reason the backbone in the US is so much worse than in other places is that standardisation was discouraged by competition between carriers each wishing to dominate each other so we end up with 3 half assed builds instead of 1 really good one.

    Example US has TDMA and CDMA (and other variants) and recently GSM (a different GSM) the rest of the world leaped ahead of us as they standardised on GSM.

    From the cellphone point of view we look like infants when we should be top dog.

  30. Ara says:

    The M-Labs and Ookla test results have too much of a discrepancy to give me any relevant information.

    Ookla gives 6.5Mbps download, 29ms for latency and 1ms for jitter.
    With Mlab I get 3.7Mbps, 38ms for latency and 51ms for jitter.

    How is this supposed to help me?

  31. Jordan Usdan says:

    Thank you for your comments, and for the 80,000+ who have taken the beta version of the Consumer Broadband Test so far.

    The Consumer Broadband Test and Dead Zone registry are just one nutrient in a balanced data diet for measuring broadband performance and availability. The data are a supplement to other data collection efforts, such as Form 477 data, the National Broadband Map data and other data collection recommendations detailed in the National Broadband Plan.

    I also want to also highlight that this is the FCC’s first ever address-level data collection for broadband availability and non-availability. There is a real value add here, giving the FCC another granular data layer of broadband service availability. Yes, software based tools can provide individuals with inconsistent performance results, some of which are out of the control of the ISP. This is detailed in the “About” section of the website. However, this crowd-sourced speed data will be useful; given a large sample size, the FCC can analyze performance trends over time and on a comparative basis across large geographies.

    Moreover, today the FCC released a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for scientific measurement of broadband performance across America. (Read the RFQ here: So our diet will become much, much richer in the future.

  32. Guest says:

    Brett Glass is shill. His claim to authority on the basis of running an isolated wifi ISP has long since worn out its ability to confer any credibility at all. Ask around.

  33. Guest says:

    I am so happy that you are doing this! My ISP advertises my connection as "up to 6" mbps, but in tests, I can never get close. The test on this website said that I have 4.1 mbps. I am so willing to pay for faster access, but it isn't even available--I have bought the most expensive DSL package available in my area. It SUCKS!!1! People in like third world countries have faster internets. Pathetic!

  34. S. Reid says:

    So how is this going to help me download more porn?

  35. Guest says:

    First, I'd like to say that I don't see the need to fill out any 'personally' identifying information, like an address.. my IP address can tell a website where I am at geographically, and who my ISP is.. so my physical address should be irrelevant. Second, as was pointed out in previous posts, there are differences in the tiers of service that people pay for. Comparing your "superior cable company" speed to "inferior DSL speed" isn't entirely fair. DSL is generally slower, but, as is the case in my area, DSL speeds are much more consistant than the cable company. I've used both AT&T's DSL and Charter's cable internet services, and while my charter connection is technically faster, the 5 meg AT&T DSL service maintained a higher average speed during peak usage times.

    These tests don't always help determine things such as this, and the disinformation people like to spread (either from bias, or ignorance) is surprising. and yes, I actually do know the differences between things such as ADSL and SDSL.. Many people do not know the difference, and would be better suited to understand these things before making a decision on internet service.

  36. Guest says:

    My Internet options are not good, I have two verizon cell phones with broadband that run just higher then 650kbs in my area, i have another service that does not limit me to 5gig like verizon but runs at 350kbs, i am paying 150 dollars a month for these services, this is the best available in my area. i would love to be able to complain about 5Mbps service and gripe about how the test dont reflect true service. Fact is I hope this goverment plan puts the pressure on the ISP to cover everyone, I would love to have a good service at a resonable rate.

  37. cognomen says:

    I did the test
    it gave me the numbers
    what about the rest?
    a 3165down,
    a 369 up
    a 71 ms latency
    0 jitter
    ?good,bad or ugly?

  38. underserved says:

    I think quite a few commenter’s here are missing the point. These tests should prove that there is still a wide disparity between underserved and well served. The well served seem to focus on their speed test as more of a competition like going to a NASCAR race...all the tweaks and reasons for not getting the best score, etc. The underserved are still happy to post that they can't even get anywhere near the 1Mb that most urban and city dwellers have been getting from more than a decade now.

    I live just 5mi outside of a major metro city and I can only get a DSL connection that is capped at 400kb even though I pay for 1.5Mb!? So, stop crying about at test that shows random 25Mb-14Mb results...both results more than point that you are well served. The net is getting further and further out of my reach with just 400kb access...Try watching youTube, Netflix, and browsing content heavy web 2.0 sites with 400kb...then you will understand the purpose of this test. My ISP can content shape all they want and the FCC can waste a bunch of time trying to tweak the test to account for all the traffic tricks that ISP's implement...I will still have a crap connection with no other choices.

  39. Guest says:

    The test requires a user to provide their address. There is no specific warning on the page where one does so that this information may be available to anyone who requests it under the Freedom of Information Act. According to the FCC's own "Privacy Policy" on this site, anytime a user is asked for personally identifiable information, such notice will be provided. Looks like the FCC needs to investigate the FCC about its violations of its own privacy policies.

  40. Bob Rolls says:

    I'm not an ISP either, but I have suffered under enough of their greed and incompetence for enough years to (I think) warrant inclusion of my two cents here.

    I applaud this initiative, regardless of its inevitable startup technical flaws. Somebody has to at least TRY to keep the ISP's honest, an area where they have well-publicized and ongoing failures.

    So, Mr. Usdan, please pass this word to your colleagues at for for this long-suffering consumer: Thank you! And good luck!

    Bob Rolls
    Swanton, Maryland

  41. Guest says:

    Dummies like me need in the explanation of jitter and latency tests something that tells us how to know whether our numbers are good or bad. Higher or lower is better? Within what ranges?

  42. CantelopeHead says:

    First of all the FCC speed test application DOESN'T work!!!!!!!!! Check out the comments on the Android forum. Hate to see what these guys do with our healthcare system. Second, the online version also FAILED. Not very impressed. I guess this goes to show that, like our struggling school system, if the intention is good, it doesn't matter what you delivery. We should all be worried about this junk.

  43. Guest says:

    I look forward to the government doing for the Internet what they've done to education, health care, mail delivery, train service, and everything else it's smeared its grubby collectivist mitts on.

  44. Guest says:

    Mr. Usdan,
    I appreciate your discussion of how this information is going to eventually help on a broad mass level. Meanwhile, why not help us to be able to understand what real information we are getting from this test, just to a small degree. Thank you for the very nice speed test, but how do I use these results? What do the speed numbers mean to me, and how do I compare them to the speeds my Roadrunner service tells me they are providing? Why are the Mlab and oOkla speeds so different for the Jitter on two different tests? MLab had me at 44 and 47ms., and oOkla had me at 1 and 0ms. On the second test one went up the other went down? I do not even know if they are supposed to be high, low or in what range.

  45. Tommy Texas says:

    It's about time someone did something about the ISPs who are ripping off Americans. The bandwidth used averages less than $5 per month. How much are you paying your ISP? I'm paying $45. That's a 900% profit. Where do I sign up for that gravy train?!?

    We pay far more than people in other countries and get slower speeds, higher latency (a bad thing) and crap service.

    I've tried each of the ISPs in my area and they are all the came crap service. I live in the suburbs only 10 miles from downtown Dallas. I should be getting super speeds and reliability. Crack down on these crooks!

  46. compughter says:

    These tests--- if conducted over the air are going to be skewed with a WiFi network , so depending on the data rate your wireless access point supports of the connection it may be limited to what your ISP claims there speed to your device is supposed to be.. Wireless (802.11 does a listen, talk, wait, listen talk type of transmit . So you will see this data can be skewed...

    Newer wireless device support 802.11n speeds that can go above 100 mbps . Your ISP probably is doing only 10 mbps to you from your cable modem....

    Run the test when it is the most likely time of the day you get on the network at home and run it at a time when you know all are asleep. Notice the differences ? Some users share the connection so the speeds may be skewed again. You are looking for the average speed out of all of your test. Never take one and trust it to be accurate.

  47. Nick J says:

    I too am a user and not an ISP. I can understand how some, or most ISP’s, may get upset with the FCC conducting the speed test. I have even read a few comments on how “users” should be more educated about how broadband works before making decisions. I find those kinds of comments absolutely absurd because it makes, at least one great point for the FCC conducting the testing they are.

    No one should have to be “educated” to make an informed and well thought out decision. All a person needs to do that is “honest and simple” advertisement. Unfortunately there are few businesses today that have any ability to do that. ISP’s are definitely in that group. I don’t need to know what I “should” be able to get, or the “up to” I need and want to know, what should I “expect” on a regular basis. It’s a simple calculation to figure out with some simple mathematic probability calculations.

    These “up to” and “should” are nothing more than an excuse to avoid “honest” advertisement. I don’t need to hear about all these “neat” things in the intern these companies do to help boost the speed, rather I just want to KNOW what is the average speed I should expect and let me know your definition of average, is it mean, median, or mode.

    I have been with several different broadband companies. Some had speeds closer to advertisements while others such as the satellite provider I now have don’t even come close. They do however provide all kinds of excuses such as “ takes a while to load because of the site”, “you have Windows Vista and that can cause the speed to slow down”, etc. Sorry I, as a consumer, am not buying those excuses for what I believe is false advertisement.

    While I am not a big proponent of government involvement, I am a proponent for any entity holding businesses responsible for conducting themselves in a professional and “honest” manner. So, all you ISP’s out there with the excuses, whatever excuse, how about going back to the board room and figuring out how to conduct business properly, fairly, and “honestly”. The only ones needing an education is the IPS’s not the consumer. If you’re so much brighter than consumers who need to “educate” themselves, pull out the paper, pencils and calculators and commence the probability studies to begin giving the public the proper and “honest” information they deserve.

    I applaud the FCC for conducting the test they are and believe they would be the fairest of test since they don’t have a financial obligation to any particular business, specifically the ISP’s.

  48. Jon says:

    I'm really amazed at everyone complaining about 1-3, 4 or even 6 Mbps speeds. Honestly, it's amazing how uninformed most people really are. I'm very pleased that the FCC is doing this. I live 45 minutes from Washington, DC. But not a single carrier offers any real broadband experience. I'm stuck using Hughes Net satellite service. My results? 596 kbps upload, 166 kbps down, 1010 ms latency and 207 ms jitter. And for this "broadband" service, I'm paying $99/month. I hope the real point behind this effort is to try and guarantee all Americans, regardless of location at least reasonable access to true broadband service. I'd be tickled to be "stuck" with a 1 Mbps download but a decent latency speed.

  49. Guest says:

    I'm pleased to see the FCC's efforts to both educate the public as well as to better understand availability of "broadband." I appreciate that the test is still in beta and would much rather have the opportunity to play with it now then wait for a street-ready product.

    I will mention that with my 64-bit version of Java I wasn't able to read a full report; the jitter report never appeared, instead I was forwarded to to update my copy of Java. Regardless if a new version is required, I'd appreciate not being auto-forwarded (especially without an opportunity to review the test results).

    Again, I'm glad to see you're on the right track.

  50. Big Dan says:

    This is definitely a step in the right direction, the transparency and citizen input parts of this blog is what I'm really digging.

    Speed tests are notoriously inaccurate as other have pointed out most ISPs use traffic shaping to give us very fast downloads in short bursts, this makes the test inaccurate as the 'boost' is showing A LOT more speed then we can sustain for more than 5 minutes.

    Aside from that speed tests don't tell the whole story. For those of us in rural areas that are "lucky" to have two service providers to choose from (most commonly cable and DSL) they form oligopolies and simply lock prices for each tier of service and thus the consumer really has no choice. For the most part if you want the most speed cable is the only way to go as DSL is a limited technology from a speed over distance standpoint. I cringe when visiting friends that have DSL in my area they pay $50/mo (the same as I do for cable) for speeds that are only marginally better than dial up. Yet, we wonder why broadband penetration isn't what it should be among people who have it available to them? Perhaps because ridiculously slow DSL is costing them $50/mo and they're being told it's a broadband connection.

    Yet another thing to consider is the abysmal upload speeds which effects VOIP among a laundry list of other technologies. In today's day and age many people and small businesses maintain websites, upload photos, and video to social sites like Facebook and You Tube for promotional purposes. We've all seen how ridiculously long it takes to upload a video to You Tube. This is because our upload speeds are capped significantly lower then download speeds sometimes as much 90% lower then download speed. This isn't so all over the world in some of the most connected nations they have asymmetric connections meaning that you can upload just as fast you can download. This wasn't too much of a problem 10 or even 5 years ago as all we really needed to upload were emails. Today it's an issue and as technology progresses we will be needing that upload speed and ISP's have not been responsive thus far. This is something that really needs to be address.

    Thanks for letting me having my say but if history is any indicator the big telcos and cable companies will lobby for and get the the lowest possible speeds classified as broadband then turn around snatch up all the fund, grants, and subsidizes they can and still provide substandard service and it will all be okay with our FCC

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If you have a camera and a 2D matrix code reader on your mobile phone, you can capture the FCC Phone numbers right to your phone by following these three easy steps:
Step 1: Take a photograph of one of the codes below using the camera on your mobile phone.
Step 2: Use your phone's Datamatrix or QR Code reader to decode the information on the photograph. Please note, these code readers are device specific and are available to download on the internet.
Step 3: Store the decoded address information to your phone's address book and use it with your Maps or GPS application.

Datamatrix and QR FCC Phones