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Europeans Needed To Create Broadband Performance Measure 47

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-track-of-things dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The European Commission has launched a project to recruit 10,000 volunteers across Europe to measure the performance of their broadband connection over two years. The trial, believed to be the world's biggest follows similar projects in the US and the UK, run by the EC's partner SamKnows. The data collected will be used to plan the next generation of services. Those interested in signing up to take part can do so here."
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Europeans Needed To Create Broadband Performance Measure

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  • by operator_error (1363139) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @05:54AM (#37623700)

    samknows.eu is the URL. Which is sort of a creepy sign right there I think.

    Volunteers will receive a purpose-built broadband measurement unit which can be plugged into the existing modem/router. This is called the SamKnows Whitebox.

    Will these folks be blessed with any rights of immunity, against anything that is dug up? Might be a good method for a TOR onion router perhaps.

    • by wertigon (1204486)

      These were my thoughts as well, but FTFA:

      SamKnows assure consumers that the device does not monitor their activity on the internet or record any personal information. To take part and apply for a free Whitebox visit www.samknows.eu.

  • From the samknows FAQ:

    The SamKnows Whitebox currently performs the following tests:

    Multi-threaded HTTP download speed test
    Multi-threaded HTTP based upload speed test
    Availability of the connection
    Jitter
    Latency (both ICMP and UDP)
    Packet loss (both ICMP and UDP)
    DNS query resolution time

    • I'll bet it doesn't test for throttling because it'd have to push through too much data and some people with data-caps would complain.

      Letting it test throttling would be easy by just using up your limits before giving it the chance to measure.

    • by Serpents (1831432)

      Upload speed in UK tends to be a small fraction of download speed

      It's similar in Poland. Usually something like 3:1, so 6 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up

      I'll bet it doesn't test for throttling because it'd have to push through too much data and some people with data-caps would complain.

      from their website: "NOTE: Our Whiteboxes download approximately 3GB per month and upload around 1GB. If you’re on a product with a low usage cap then we’d advise against signing up, or at least informing us beforehand so that we can apply a different testing profile." So at least you've been warned

      • Re:Actual tests: (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Calydor (739835) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @07:18AM (#37624076)

        So in other words those of us with abysmally low bandwidth connections still being touted as 'broadband' would ruin our net experiences completely (as in, worse than not being able to stream even the lowest resolution videos) if we signed up to prove that our connections are really this horrid.

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        Our ratios are far worse, mine is 10mbit/1mbit, when I was with Virgin Media it was 10 / 0.45mbit... when it wasn't being throttled, once throttled my upload with VM was as little as 20-30KBytes/sec.

        The cynical part of me thinks artificial tests are pointless, the ISPs will investigate the boxes and then skew the figures to suit.

    • "I'll bet it doesn't test for throttling because it'd have to push through too much data and some people with data-caps would complain."

      They warn in their requirements that the tests take about 3 GB monthly so ppl with a data cap shouldn't register or advise them in advance so they'll run a different test program.

  • You know those web sites which have existed as small, specific operations doing one or two things well for as long as you can remember? Always looking a little amateurish but getting the job done.

    And you know how one day suddenly their web site goes all corporate and the old services are just sidelines? Looking slick but now seemingly just providing expensive consulting services.

    And the following year they're doing something absolutely huge, like the fat kid known for baking tasty cakes who has just been gi

    • by citizenr (871508)

      Its called EU grand money. They applied for a grand, got it and now spend like there is no tomorrow.

  • I have some confidence that this test will actually be used to improve services to customers. For example, the EU over the last couple of years has come down hard on the telecom industry, forcing them simply to become cheaper and to improve services.

    It seems that although the EU takes 1984 as a guidebook rather than an example, they at least realize that its citizens must have an affordable and good quality information infrastructure if they want anything to eavesdrop on :-)

  • This is just yet another swill trough project to keep worthless unelected bean counters in paid lunches for two years, plus the half decade that it'll take to draw up the Directive that will inevitably just mandate whatever Germany plans to do anyway.

    So take your little spy boxes and hand them out to Frankfurters. They'll happily plug them in, they love obeying orders.

    • Oh do shut up. You haven't been paying attention if you haven't noticed how EU regulation has improved quality of service and pricing in the telecom sector in the past years.

      And your derogative remarks on germans are really sad. Go get a life.

  • Why waste a fortune on measuring internet speed by HARDWARE (seriously, what's the point of that?) instead of using something like these numbers [speedtests.net] ?

    • by gavaletz (1490469)
      Because the are unrepresentative at best and in many cases inaccurate. For context see Bauer, S.; Clark, D. & Lehr, W. "Understanding Broadband Speed Measurements," Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009. Part of the larger problem is that most people don't understand that you can't measure the "speed" of a network connection as simply as one measures average velocity of a physical object. It is much more complicated and abstract. As for your comment on "HARDWARE," it isn't purpose built hardwa

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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