The FCC is offering a broadband speed test as part of its efforts to encourage better broadband service.
United States broadband users can participate in the test by going to Broadband dot gov.
From the website:
I think we should help them gather the data they need.
My ISP tested out at about 15,000 kbps down and about 4,000 kbps megs up at the FCC; in contrast, Speedtest dot net, a site that Jeffrey introduced to me, reported 7.91 mbps down and 3.35 mbps up (the FCC reports in kbps, Speedtest in mbp/s). The “down” speeds differ significantly and I cannot account for that. The two sites might be using different testing methods: The FCC says that
Once you complete one of the tests, you are given the option of trying the other.
The disparity of results between the FCC tests and Speedtest was similar in Firefox and Opera, though the reported download speeds were faster in Firefox (I have Firefox v. 3.0.17 and Opera v. 10.10 on my Ubuntu v. 8.x netbook here).
I don’t know what my ISP advertises; it was them or Verizon; the very few times I’ve had to call Verizon’s 800-number regarding my landline, the convoluted menu system there has made me reluctant to avail myself of their services when an alternative is available to me. (The real live human beings, once I got to them, were wonderful, but getting to them was an unnecessarily difficult adventure, he said tactfully.)
I learned about this at Balloon Juice.