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FCC Releases Internet Speed Test Tool

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 57 comments

The FCC is striking back at ISPs with your help.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is striking back at ISP marketing practices by offering a free tool to consumers. Located here, the tool allows consumers to clock the speed of their Internet connection so that the FCC can compare the findings with ISP speed claims.

"The FCC's new digital tools will arm users with real-time information about their broadband connection and the agency with useful data about service across the country," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. “These tools help eliminate confusion and make the market work more effectively."

According to Reuters, the new digital tools follow an earlier FCC meeting back in September 2009. The FCC said that despite ISP claims, actual Internet speeds were estimated to lag as much as 50-percent during busy hours.

In addition to the broadband test, the FCC's new website also provides a way for consumers to report that they do not have broadband access in their area.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    dman3k , March 12, 2010 4:35 PM
    In a few months, ATT will be sued by FCC for not providing speeds it claims in has.
  • 15 Hide
    pbrigido , March 12, 2010 4:38 PM
    I don't need a tool to tell me that my internet connection is much slower than it should be.
  • 13 Hide
    shin0bi272 , March 12, 2010 4:42 PM
    /me waits for the government take over of ISPs and downloads the soviet national anthem while he still has internet access...
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    dman3k , March 12, 2010 4:35 PM
    In a few months, ATT will be sued by FCC for not providing speeds it claims in has.
  • 11 Hide
    NapoleonDK , March 12, 2010 4:38 PM
    They will have to market the heck out of this in order for people to use it. Everyone I know just defaults to www.speedtest.net.
    1. Now that they have this tool out, will the FCC actually listen to any feedback and pursue ISP's who don't live up to their claims?
    2. Is this just a study of some sort? Are the FCC not allowed to use existing databases like Speedtest.net?
    3. Doesn't it say all over an ISP's EULA that the speeds are "UP TO ***Mbps" and that throughput "MAY BE LESS" under extreme usage?

    Seems like a government spending project to me. Then again, most people need something to complain about, and refuse to RTFM...
  • 15 Hide
    pbrigido , March 12, 2010 4:38 PM
    I don't need a tool to tell me that my internet connection is much slower than it should be.
  • 1 Hide
    lightsaber , March 12, 2010 4:39 PM
    Cablevision/Optimum is sooo screwed now.....
  • 13 Hide
    shin0bi272 , March 12, 2010 4:42 PM
    /me waits for the government take over of ISPs and downloads the soviet national anthem while he still has internet access...
  • -4 Hide
    chrisjust98 , March 12, 2010 4:42 PM
    it's
  • 1 Hide
    tipoo , March 12, 2010 4:42 PM
    Nooo, now I can be even more sure of how much my only choice of an ISP is under-performing.
  • 4 Hide
    dxwarlock , March 12, 2010 4:43 PM
    already see a problem with it.
    its speed isn't accurate.

    http://www.speedtest.net/ shows me at 25mb down on various server. which is correct.

    this test clocks on at 8. so they are gathering incorrect data?
  • 0 Hide
    chrisjust98 , March 12, 2010 4:43 PM
    it's to bad that you can't pick the testing site like speedtest.net :( 
  • -1 Hide
    dxwarlock , March 12, 2010 4:44 PM
    what happened to the link? there was a link to the site in the article..now its gone
  • 4 Hide
    Ryric , March 12, 2010 4:45 PM
    Welcome to yesterday on every other tech news site.
  • -1 Hide
    Dreasconse , March 12, 2010 4:47 PM
    Seems like a stand alone app would be more reliable than something using flash, but what servers does it connect to and where?
  • 8 Hide
    b0o , March 12, 2010 4:49 PM
    Wow the FCC actually doing something useful and good.
  • 1 Hide
    dacman61 , March 12, 2010 4:53 PM
    dman3kIn a few months, ATT will be sued by FCC for not providing speeds it claims in has.


    You are probably right, and then we'll get passed along the cost and/or people will lose jobs.
  • 9 Hide
    touchdowntexas13 , March 12, 2010 5:00 PM
    How come when I click on the "show" button, it never works anymore?

    I've noticed this since a few days ago. Maybe there has already been a discussion about it?

    I've tried it on both firefox and IE and both browsers have the same problem.

    Sorry to post off-topic, but this is bugging me.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 12, 2010 5:02 PM
    i just ran it on my cablevision/optimum. full speeds all the time like normal. just use speedtest.net. actually load the page within a few secs, unlike this government garbage
  • 2 Hide
    Kilo11 , March 12, 2010 5:09 PM
    I work for an ISP's IHD, if your not getting the internet connection speed that you signed up for you should really contact your IHD. All ISP's usually have a requirement that your connection speed be within 70-85% of your provisioned speed (the speed you signed up for). If your not within that range then they should issue a repair ticket to have someone look into it.
  • 0 Hide
    matt_b , March 12, 2010 5:12 PM
    About time someone steps in gives a standard tool we can measure with. I have questioned Comcast's rated speeds for some time. I am told I have 12 megabit downloads. By my own real world tests, I'll see that speed every once in a while, the other 99% of the time I see a steady 8 megabits. I have their rated speeds in theory, but it stretches the "up to" motto quite a bit.
  • 0 Hide
    flyinfinni , March 12, 2010 5:13 PM
    seems pretty accurate to me, though the 2 different engines gave different results (probably due to the server location, etc) but they were relatively all in the same ballpark as speedtest.com
  • 1 Hide
    Dirtman73 , March 12, 2010 5:13 PM
    touchdowntexas13How come when I click on the "show" button, it never works anymore?I've noticed this since a few days ago. Maybe there has already been a discussion about it?I've tried it on both firefox and IE and both browsers have the same problem.Sorry to post off-topic, but this is bugging me.



    Me too. This problem is similar to one I'm having on a couple of other sites that offer user feedback and comments. An ad-blocker maybe?
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