FCC releases Internet speed test tool

This might be useful to some.

Article :


site :


It requires giving your address.


If you have fios please don't use this, if you have relatives with dial, make them use it :slight_smile:

- Jared


i suspect the bandwidth tests are a bit latency sensitive

It requires giving your address.

did not really like a tokyo postal code


Marshall Eubanks wrote:


www.broadband.gov. 86400 IN A
www.broadband.gov. 86400 IN RRSIG A 7 3 86400 20100309192609 (
        20091209192609 46640 broadband.gov.
                                [...] )

Expired signatures... zone won't validate.


If you can't get there, check DNSSEC first.... Lame server or bad signature:

Mar 12 08:57:57 mx1 named[18363]: no valid KEY resolving 'www.broadband.gov/A/IN':

I'll send e-mail to dns-admin-at-fcc.gov, but that's probably a black
hole. If anyone has a contact at fcc.gov, please let them know.

Nate Itkin

I'm listening to all this and thinking through the questions the FCC might be asking. I'm also trying to do a somewhat-controlled test, which I'll give you the first several samples of. See attached.

I picked up your note at ~7:10 PST this morning and set up some timed commands to remind myself to try this out once an hour at a few minutes before my various meetings start. I'm testing speakeasy against speedtest against the two broadband.gov engines, plus pingtest just for fun. I am of course at work today, woking from home.

For the record, I am a Cox Business subscriber, and my contract is 2 MBPS down and 384 KBPS up. That implies I'm not going see tens of MBPS, and I would be surprised if the numbers were significantly different than advertised as I am by definition paying more money for less service. Some of the tests will run in parallel with my daily workload, and I'll try to keep that straight. What may impinge is mail downloads, which happen under the hood and aren't necessarily visible at the time I initiate a test.

An observation on the various comments that "going to a test service operated somewhere other than my POP is a dumb idea": it depends on what you're measuring. If you're measuring, as I imagine those commentators are, what bit rate is available on the link between the residential subscriber and the ISP and therefore whether the contract is being met, the point is well taken. If the point is "what is a reasonable expectation of bandwidth when accessing various things on the Internet", the ISP's internal connectivity, connectivity to its upstream, and to its peers is also relevant - and from an FCC Net Neutrality perspective pretty important. A fairly common report several years ago was that on DSL networks one might get a high rate through the very last mile but often got mere tens of KBPS through the back end network, and DSL marketing made the same comment about Cable Modem networks. When I buy a certain rate from an ISP, the point is not to talk with the ISP at that rate; the point is to be able to do what I do, such as running a VPN across <ISP> and <upstream> to/from <company>, or access content on the web.

Another observation: when a subscriber buys a bit rate, the bit rate includes IP headers, link layer overhead, etc. If I use FTP to test my rate, it is measuring the rate at which TCP can deliver user data, which is to say that it omits the TCP, IP, and link layer overheads, which are on the order of 3-4% of the bandwidth. If I were running one of these tests over a circuit switch link such as a T-1, it would not measure that it was delivering 1.544 MBPS plus or minus 75 ppm; it would measure somewhat less considering both physical layer overheads (2/193 gets lost out of a T-1 frame) and TCP/IP overheads.

What I have seen so far this morning is that speakeasy, speedtest, and the two broadband.gov sites come up with about the same numbers, modulo obvious issues of being different tests at slightly different times. The one difference there is with broadband.gov/MLAB: it seems to measure my upload rate at about half of contract rate the first time I test it, and then measure something approximating the contract if I repeat the test. No idea what that really means - if it randomly was high and low I could argue that it is a capacity-at-tester or "did POP download email?" issue, but since it always the first test that is low it suggests something relevant to the sequence.