> I've gotten strange stuff each time I've tried their tests. I
> particularly like the factor of 10 difference in upload speeds.
The FCC is probably doing this because US providers generally don't
release actual bandwidth, speeds or latency numbers their consumer
I understand the point behind the test.
Advertised numbers often don't mean anything. If
providers want to release better data, it might help the FCC understand
the current environment.
Some US providers have published data for their business customer
connections and backbones.
I realize that a high level of participation could result in the FCC
gaining a more complete understanding of broadband penetration, and
specific areas where there are problems.
However, I have some reservations as to whether or not the FCC will be
able to get enough people to participate in this to be able to generate
a meaningful dataset.
Further, major inconsistencies such as what I just pointed out brings
into question the validity of the test, and therefore the value.
I am not that concerned about the difference between 4Mbps and 5Mbps,
but when there's an order of magnitude difference involved... on the
I would guess, hopefully correctly, that Speedtest.net, Akamai, and
others already have a good handle on broadband speeds, and it seems to
me that the FCC could get a much more thorough picture of per-ISP
performance (which of course isn't street-level) simply by getting these
guys to summarize their results.
As such, the only real value I see the FCC tool offering is the potential
for visibility into things such as DSL speed/distance limitations, but in
order for that to be meaningful, you'd have to get a lot of people to run
Which brings us back to ... I'm not entirely sure that this is a useful