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Networking The Internet

Thumb On the Scale? Study Finds 5 of 7 Broadband Meters Inaccurate 114

stox writes "For the 64 percent of Americans whose internet service provider imposes a broadband cap, and for those lucky enough to have a meter, I have some bad news. The president of the firm who audits many of the country's broadband meters says that he can't certify the measurements produced by five out of seven of his clients' meters because they don't count your bits correctly
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Thumb On the Scale? Study Finds 5 of 7 Broadband Meters Inaccurate

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  • are you suprised?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neo8750 ( 566137 ) < minus math_god> on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:26PM (#42825813) Homepage
    Its all bout the money
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:37PM (#42826011)

    DD-WRT has a meter I find it to be very accurate. I guess it could be used as evidence if things do not match.

    Depends on your ISP, I'd wager. You might get reasonable people in the billing department you can argue with.

    If not, good luck with that. It'd be nice if everyone and their mother had a non-shit router, the ability to understand metrics, and the willingness to go to small claims court, but, as a wise woman once said:

    Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

  • by HaeMaker ( 221642 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:41PM (#42826069) Homepage

    Perhaps we need a weights and measures type certification for ISPs?

    In the US it's per County, so that will be interesting!

  • Telcos are thieves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:43PM (#42826101) Homepage Journal

    no other explanation is necessary. For the old folks here who used to have a landline phone service in the old days, do you remember all those mysterious little "charges" they tacked on your bill? Like $1.05 "User Service fee" and $0.87 "DCF Maintenance fee" or some crap like that? Well even the federal gov't realized they were just plain thieves and sued them, which they settled for a few dozen million dollars. And went right back to doing it again.

    Also there was the dial-up modem scam the telcos used to pull... Dvorak's summary []

  • we recommend... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by v1 ( 525388 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:49PM (#42826199) Homepage Journal

    when I've called my ISP to complain about low speed, they usually start out by telling me to go to a specific site to check my speed. (they do the same thing when they send out a tech)

    Thanks, no. I'll go to a different site. Anywhere besides the one you just suggested to me. Using what they recommend is like the used car dealer recommending you get a second opinion from his brother Jim.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:57PM (#42826315) Journal

    ... and how much is ads?

    Moving to a new client's site gave me a taste of using a browser without noscript and flashblock. I discovered a number of sites are displaying multiple ads that consist of flash movies.

    To view a few paragraphs of text (a couple kilobytes or so) I USED to be downloading perhaps a quarter megabyte of graphic imagery. Now I'm downloading perhaps a minute of video for each of several self-starting video ads.

    Not to mention popovers-on-mouseover - including some that that darken the whole page rather than just obscuring part of it - and if I want to kill them without "pushing a 'close' button" supplied by the popover ("Push me! Push me! I'll just close the window and not download malware! I promise!) I have to reload the page all over again. Listen to that meter whir!

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @07:29PM (#42826739)

    This is exactly what we need. It would solve a LOT of problems. What is 20mb/s service anyway? I know we have our (logical) definition. But I guarantee your ISP has an entirely different definition that has absolutely no bearing on the speed of your connection and more to do with the price you're paying. (I work for a large ISP btw)

    Government regulation is bad in almost all respects when it comes to the economy. Capitalism works best when it's unfettered and transparent. The laws the government should impose should not put chains on businesses or consumers. What the government should be doing is making the market more transparent. Don't make derivatives illegal, make describing exactly whats in them required before sale. Don't dictate what speeds or services ISPs can offer, require the ISPs to use common terms and conditions that consumers can understand. Just as you say, a certain speed should be exactly that. None of this "up to" bullshit. If there are limits on how much you can download, that should be clear and upfront, not buried on their website. Their traffic shaping policies should be clear and understandable. The way they measure your use should be standardize. It would help both the ISPs and the consumer. We need something like the FDAs nutrition labels but for technology.
    Data cap? y/n
    Limit = ###
    Max speed = ##
    Minimum speed = ##
    Average Latency = ##
    % time down in your town over the past 12 months: ##
    Average time to resolution for customer outages: ##

    Your ISP HAS all of this information already. It's all a mater of making it law that they have to give it to you before you sign a contract. Simple as that.

Reactor error - core dumped!