Broadband delivers everything at the touch of a key or click of a mouse. Broadband delivers healthcare, security, education, entertainment. Broadband is
community. It’s how we’re getting our news; it’s how we’re getting information. These are the reasons I've joined the FCC & the SamKnows initiative to help our government analyze ISPs with greater transparency within the broadband market. Another reason i'm doing it? There's simply nothing else comparable that's unbiased.
The data has already helped the FCC hold the industry accountable for broadband promises, their list of ISPs who fail to deliver advertised rates
resulting in a long list of ISPs boosting available speeds above what's promised (Mediacom
, AT&T U-Verse
, to name just a few).
How am I helping the FCC & SamKnows initiative? I have signed up at SamKnows testmyisp.com
for a little "WhiteBox," a TP-Link router (the model varies) that collects a wide array of connection performance data. The device performs the following tests (yes, you can view your own results):
•Multi-threaded HTTP download speed test
•Multi-threaded HTTP based upload speed test
•Availability of the connection
•Latency (both ICMP and UDP)
•Packet loss (both ICMP and UDP)
•DNS query resolution time
•DNS query failure rate
•Web page loading time
•Web page loading failure rate
•Video streaming performance
The above tests are performed against a cluster of test servers, hosted all around the United States. The web browsing test is performed against 10 real US-based websites. There's broader detail available over at the FAQ
The reason I'm writing this is because I have been approved for a WhiteBox, and I plan to document my experiences. There are requirements
in order to get the unit, and only 10,000 boxes to hand out, so my 3 year journey with SamKnows begins now.
"Your individual unit's test results will be available to you alone," notes SamKnows. "Your unit's results will also be aggregated with others from the same ISP to form a larger average set of results that can be viewed publicly. We have absolutely no intention of doing anything that may adversely affect your privacy or security. If you have any concerns please feel free to contact us to discuss them."
I'll be sharing more detail on the FCC and SamKnows efforts in future posts.