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FCC’s Broadband Measuring Tool Gets 150,000 Takers, Shows West-Coast Bias

FCC downloads

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A week after the FCC debuted a beta tool for consumers to measure their broadband speeds, we’ve got the first set of stats. 150,000 people decided to avail themselves of the widget, available on Android, iPhone and Web platforms, giving the commission a more realistic idea of the state of the U.S.’s Internet connections than the figures bandied about by the ISPs. The FCC also announced that it would be conducting a hardware-based scientific study of broadband connections on tens of thousands of U.S. homes.

FCC uploads

Most of the tests were performed on home Internet connections and, while average downloads (top image) look higher than expected, the median is somewhat lower, due to the fact that most people have DSL connections instead of the higher-performing FiOS and cable connections. Uploads, however, were much lower (see above:) Average was around the 2.3Mbps, while the median came in at 1Mbps.

FCC broadband

Unsurprisingly, Californian residents were the busiest with the speed checker, which is why the Golden State scored so highly in the data. Two things ye must remember about the speed test, however. One, it’s still in beta. And two, no random sampling and two separate platforms mean the results are not scientific. However, it will give the FCC something to work on, such as how to improve the Internet dead zones throughout the country–and get the ISPs to pull their socks up a bit.

[Broadband.gov blog Via ArsTechnica]

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