Your blood pressure is normal, and your cholesterol levels are okay, too, but have you checked your internet download speed lately? A new service offered by the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] can help you make that diagnosis, while helping the government improve our national broadband status.
Launched just days before the federal government announced its ambitious commitment to bringing America up to speed in the on-line world, the Consumer Broadband Test is now available on Broadband.gov. You enter your address, city and zip code, and the website launches a speed test that measures download speed, upload speed, latency ( the time it takes for data to be sent from your computer to the testing server and back–the “round trip time”), and jitter (the variability in the delay between your computer and the testing server.)
Another feature of the website is its Broadband Dead Zone Report, which lets users submit a street address where broadband can’t be purchased.
The new tests are part of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, which was unveiled on March 16. According to Government Technology:
“Broadband speed and broadband coverage are two issues that the FCC is tackling. According to numerous studies, the nation’s average broadband speed lags well behind several other industrialized nations. Through the federal stimulus, millions of dollars in grants have been awarded to states for mapping broadband coverage…FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says that the FCC [is] setting a goal of putting 100 Mbps broadband service in 100 million U.S. homes by the end of this decade.”