The Broadband Observer has become friends with Sam. Uncle Sam, that is, or at least the Federal Communications Commission part of it, who is helping run a first-of-its-kind national three-year study of broadband connectivity and performance in America.
These are real, scientifically sophisticated automated regular tests of connectivity, bandwidth quality and speed that will be used to gain an understanding of what actual broadband performance is being delivered to customers. Over 100,000 users nationwide, subscribing to hundreds of providers and tiers of service are being studied, and the results will show if consumers are actually getting what they pay for, as well as what the true broadband infrastructure in America is like.
I am excited to be one of the people selected for this test. The test works by having a special NetGear router with custom firmware attached to your broadband connection. It regularly tests the connection and uploads statistical information to the study's managers. The owner of the broadband connection being tested (me) also gets to see my own data, which I am definitely interested in!
You can learn more about some of the technical tests if you are curious.
Watch for future posts about the SamKnows testing as I learn more about the process and find out some preliminary results.