The National Broadband Map. Be Active ,Report your Broadband Speed

It is a tool for your use. Here is what you can do with it. You can go to your school board and demonstrate broadband use in your community.

You can share your speed and help to fill out the National Broadband Map.

In case you missed it, it is a kind of citizen transparency project.

Last week some of us were treated to a sharing of the National Broadband Plan this was from the office of

Karen Cator at the Dept of Education and they shared data on the schools. This was one of the great workshops presented at CoSN.

It is an amazing tool. Here is the workshop for that in a PDF. The Dept of Education and NTIA collaborated on that presentation. The broadband map can be used to analyze.

This is the section of the map that shares what you can analyze. This is taken from the web site.


Use the tools on the map to rank an area by a specific broadband attribute, generate summaries of broadband availability for a given area and download reports containing popular statistics.

Use the rank  tool to compare broadband availability in different areas. Generate a national list of states, counties, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), Congressional Districts, census designated places or Universal Service Fund (USF) study areas by broadband speed, technology, number of broadband providers or demographic information. The tool also generates ranked lists within a state, including by county, census designated place, Congressional District, state legislative district, MSA and USF study area. You can compare areas.

Use this tool to generate an overview of broadband availability for any state, county, state legislative district, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Universal Service Fund (USF) study area, or Native Nations. This should be helpful to your learning community, your school board, and local consumers.

Popular Reports »

View and download popular reports.

  • ▪  Broadband Availability in Urban vs. Rural Areas
  • ▪  Number of Providers by Speed Tier
  • ▪  Access to Broadband Technology by Speed

The National Broadband Map Created and maintained by the NTIA, in collaboration with the FCC, and in partnership with 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia.

Understanding Actual Broadband Performance by Visualizing over 1,000,000 Tests Every Day

Last week, I spent time with Vint Cerf. I know him from the time at the National Infrastructure  Information Advisory Council. He was keynoting a forum at the New America Foundation on Broadband,

You can demonstrate the technology he used.

He showed us a number of variables by which we could use the measurement lab to access real time data about the Internet.Measurement Lab. You can demonstrate this tool.

Google Inc.PlanetLab ConsortiumNew America Foundation’s Open Technology InstituteHere is a second tool.

Google has a different tool. Kind of  Gapminder for Broadband and it is international as well as national.

Here is what the mapping does.

Google maps 300TB of real-world Internet speed data

How fast is your broadband?

M-La, a partnership between the New America Foundation and Google meant to measure Internet connections, has given Google two years worth of actual broadband connection data, as measured by users. That’s more than 300TB of data, which Google has imported into its Public Data Explorer for easy viewing and analysis. The results are remarkable.

Measuring Internet access has been tricky for years. Sascha Meinrath of the New America Foundation told Ars back in 2009, when M-Lab got underway, that detailed network data about speeds, latency, jitter, and more used to be in the public domain until the government-run NSFnet was privatized in the earlier 1990s. Today, though, it’s hard to know what speeds ISPs are actually offering (knowing what speeds they advertise, by contrast, is simple).

M-Lab has distributed testing tools for two years now and its servers have recorded data on the results. One of the most basic measurements is pure speed, measured in megabits per second. When these real-world speeds are charted on a map, they make Internet speed differences obvious in a way often obscured by simple lists and numbers. For instance, the two images below compare Internet download speeds in US states to Internet download speeds in European countries (many of which are the same size as US states). Speeds are medians.

More Resources?

M-Lab is one of many projects exploring ways to help users more clearly understand the performance of their broadband connections. If you’re interested in exploring further, here are a few other active projects that we know about. (Note that these projects are not associated with M-Lab.)

  • The FCC’s “Test My ISP” project:
    Together, the FCC and Samknows are setting out to provide US consumers with reliable and accurate statistics of their broadband connections. If you are interested in using one of our units to measure your home broadband connection, then please sign up below. You will get to play a part in changing the face of the American broadband industry and you also get a free high-speed wireless router!
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Test Your ISP” project and Switzerland client: “[Switzerland is] an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets.”
  • Northwestern University’s Aqualab Project and Network Early Warning System plugin for Azureus: “Passively monitor[s] your BitTorrent performance and check[s] for changes that might indicate problems with the network.”
  • Harvard Berkman Center‘s &‘s Herdict: “Herdict Web aggregates reports of inaccessible sites, allowing users to compare data to see if inaccessibility is a shared problem.”
  • “A user-generated census of broadband speeds and availability.”
  • SamKnows Broadband: Provides broadband information in the U.K. and runs aperformance testing program in collaboration with individual users.
  • University of Washington’s Web Tripwires: “Measur[ing] how often web pages are changed [by an intermediary] after leaving the server and before arriving in the user’s browser.”
  • NNSquad: “An open-membership, open-source effort, enlisting the Internet’s users to help keep the Internet’s operations fair and unhindered from unreasonable restrictions.”
  • GCTIP Forums: “a free discussion environment to act as a clearinghouse for all stakeholders (technical, consumers, ISPs, government-related, etc.) to interact on the range of “network transparency” and associated topics.”
  • A group of researchers at Georgia Tech have created NANO, a Linux-based application that identifies performance degradations resulting from differential treatment of specific classes of applications, users, or destinations by a network operator. Future versions of NANO plan to make use of the M-Lab platform.
  • The Netalyzr analyzes various properties of your Internet connection that you should care about — including blocking of important services, HTTP caching behavior and proxy correctness, your DNS server’s resilience to abuse, NAT detection, as well as latency & bandwidth measurements — and reports its findings in a detailed report.

Test Your Internet Connection


Use these tools running on M-Lab to test your internet connection and

About the tools:

  • By using these tools, you help advance research by contributing valuable data about broadband performance.
  • The tools only collect data related to the specifically orchestrated communication “flows” between your machine and the M-Lab server.
  • The tools do not collect information about your other Internet traffic, such as your emails, Web searches, etc., or any personally identifiable information, unless you affirmatively provide it in response to a specific request, such as a form that asks you to provide your email address, etc..
  • All data collected by the tools will be made publicly available.
  • All tools are created by individual researchers, not M-Lab itself.

    Network diagnostic tool

    Test your connection speed and receive sophisticated diagnosis of problems limiting speed.

    Glasnost test

    Test whether certain applications or traffic are being blocked or throttled on your broadband connection.



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