The Measuring Broadband America fixed studies began in 2011 and continue to the present, with the release of annual reports based on data collected during the month of September. With the cooperation of 11 broadband service providers and diverse industry stakeholders, the FCC has been able to assess national broadband performance using actual performance tests for thousands of subscribers of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) serving more than 80 percent of the residential market. The FCC has worked on Measuring Broadband America in collaboration with SamKnows, a well-known international statistics and analytics firm currently working on similar projects in several other countries.
How It Works
Volunteer participants are sent off-the-shelf routers with pre-installed software that measure broadband performance in thirteen categories such as download and upload speeds and latency. The FCC partners with SamKnows to develop the software for Measuring Broadband America testing. Without interfering with the consumer's regular Internet activity, the Measuring Broadband America software runs scheduled, randomized performance tests. The test results are then collected and aggregated to produce the annual broadband report. Each of the volunteer participants provided information about their Internet service, which was later verified by their ISP. Utilizing this data, the MBA program is able to measure actual performance speeds against what the ISPs advertised to the customer.
In its commitment to openness and transparency, the Measuring Broadband America software is open source and can be found at http://www.samknows.com/opensource.
Data, Reports & Code
For more detailed technical information regarding the fixed broadband tests, go to the open methodology page