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A Billion Broadband Speed Test Records Made Public

May 26th, 2010 by Jordan Usdan - Acting Director, Public-Private Initiatives

Over a billion broadband speed test records from across the world have been made publicly available this week by two of the largest broadband measurement platforms: Measurement Lab (M-Lab) and Ookla, Inc. (of speedtest.net).

M-Lab released their entire data set via Google's BigQuery, which allows academics, researchers and others to access and run queries against the entire 60TB dataset.  Read more about it here.  M-Lab had previously made their dataset available via another service, but the BigQuery partnership enables real-time analysis without having to download the entire 60TB dataset.

Ookla also announced they will make their data set of over 1.5 billion speed test records available over the internet, and launched a website that ranks countries and regions based upon broadband speed using this data.

The FCC’s Fixed and Mobile Consumer Broadband Tests allow users to test their internet connection and add their anonymous speed tests results to the M-Lab and Ookla databases.

We applaud these efforts as making more broadband data available serves the public interest.  As Ookla states on their website: “This valuable information can be used to shape broadband policy, help carriers and ISPs make informed business decisions, and even allow individuals to compare and contrast their results with those near them or others around the world.”

4 Responses to “A Billion Broadband Speed Test Records Made Public”

  1. Brett Glass says:

    As the FCC has previously indicated, these tests are often inaccurate -- and the sample is self-selecting rather than randomly selected. The data is therefore not of sufficient quality to be used in policy making. I certainly hope that telecommunications policy will not be based on it!

  2. Linda Kestner says:

    I read about the testing in the June 2 2010 Mail Tribune, Medford, OR. I have a destop with XP and a laptop with Vista OS. The Vista testing is complete but the XP testing wouldn't work, insisting on Java and Adobe Flash, both of which are installed on the computers. I know that the speed varies with the time of day and usage on the Qwest system, but was trying to see why my XP is so much slower at all times of day. Results on the Vista were 1331/728 at 4PM. How can I see how those numbers compare with Qwest's advertised speed? I do suspect that no matter what program I subscribe to, speed is limited by the computer's OS. Can't someone discuss this in layman terms in order to benefit the typical home user of Broadband services?

  3. MaryEllen Kennedy says:

    An additional problem with the speed tests - I have a satellite Internet connection. The location (latitude & longitude) displayed when I run the test definitely do no reflect my location (they may be showing the location of my downlink halfway across the country, but I had trouble decoding). There should be an option for the user to identify their location (and possibly their provider)

  4. Guest says:

    MaryEllen Kennedy has a good point about need to be able to collect the actual source location and their ISP.

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