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The Internet Government Politics

NY Attorney General Wants Public To Report Broadband Speeds ( 99

An anonymous reader writes: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating ISP speed and service claims. He's asked consumers to help by testing their broadband speeds and reporting the findings. "New Yorkers should get the Internet speeds they pay for. Too many of us may be paying for one thing, and getting another," Schneiderman said. "By conducting these tests, consumers can uncover whether they are receiving the Internet speeds they have paid for."
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NY Attorney General Wants Public To Report Broadband Speeds

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  • [DISCLAIMER type="big-corp"]
    What, users re getting speeds of 128Kbps on our advertised 10Mbps?

    Well, that's just fine. They were told that they could get speeds UP TO 10Mbps. 128K falls in that range.

  • ... and I don't even live in New York. With the partnership of a U.K. company/agency, SamKnows, the FCC has been doing this for years nationwide, and more reliably.

  • I can only imagine that the big cable companies will do everything in their power to make sure that all the links to the major Speed/Bandwidth test providers are set to have the utmost in priority for the NYC area. Those who were promised 50/50 and were reports 25/25 now show 50/50 or more nearly everytime.

    While good in concept this will ultimately fail due to the shadiness of the Cable Companies.
    • I use BitTorrent to measure my connection speed, and I have never once gotten less than the advertised speed. In fact, I usually get more.

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
        You should measure your connection speed using a single stream, not many. You also have the issue that Torrent data comes in over many peering links, which hides the slow links.
        • What does that accomplish? I'm buying "up to 50mbps" from my provider. That speed is not guaranteed, and especially not on a single link.

          Verizon shouldn't be held responsible if I can't get 50mbps from a website that is hosted on a 10mbps colo, or from a media service that doesn't have as much hosting speed as it has subscribers. That's not Verizon's problem.

          • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
            That's not the point. The point is your ISP and their peering links should NEVER be the bottleneck. Heck, my ISP guarantees a congestion free experience and they use Level 3, which also guarantees congestion free. I get my full speed to every datacenter in the world, at least of the ones I've cared to test in nearly every major city.
  • The line

    NY Attorney General Wants Public To Report Broadband Speeds

    Strongly suggests that the Attorney General would require people to do this. This could have been worded better to indicate in the headline that this is fully voluntary. Of course, accurate wording would not be as helpful in the standard slashdot demonization of all things liberal.

    As usual, thank you "failure machine" samzenpus. I would expect nothing better from you.

  • by SirKron ( 112214 ) <brian.kronberg@g ... com minus author> on Monday December 14, 2015 @04:28PM (#51116893)
    To stop ISP's from cheating have Netflix host the speed test.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Obfuscant ( 592200 )
      Because we all know that Netflix has no dog in this fight, right?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Netflix can't do anything about your shitty Comcast connection. Comcast is already throttling Netflix. However, when you go to other speed test websites, CommieCast caches that stuff and speeds up the network to make it look like you're getting the speeds you're not actually getting...

        So testing from Netflix or some independent no-name website would be more realistic than or any of those other overused and now unreliable speed test sites.

        For instance Linode has test files for testing downloa

        • Netflix can't do anything about your shitty Comcast connection.

          I don't know who you are addressing this to. I don't have a poor Comcast connection.

          Netflix cannot directly change my connection. But they certainly can put the bug in the ear of people like the NY officials. They have a dog in the bandwidth fight since they want their product delivered to the customer at the lowest cost to them, and upgrading their own outbound bandwidth costs money. If they can get NY regulators on Comcast's back for "poor speeds" and Comcast is forced to upgrade their gateways, then Net

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Your point is logical, sound, and topical. It's even reasonable. Your UID suggests that you should know better.

    • Netflix already collects and publishes that data from their side.

    • To stop ISP's from cheating have Netflix host the speed test.

      Which netflix will then throttle until the ISP pays for premium bandwdith

  • by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <kepler1&hotmail,com> on Monday December 14, 2015 @04:41PM (#51116997)
    How will the reporting distinguish when someone's connection is getting f'd up by the crappy wifi connection with interference from all their apartment neighbors?

    Is there going to be a standard test setup requirement? Over wired connection?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      In the UK the regulator considers WiFi speed to be part of the service. The WiFi enabled modern/router I'd usually supplied by the ISP. Some offer 5ghz models now to help alleviate congestion.

      Unfortunately this has the effect of making every ISP turn their radios up to 11, making the problem worse.

      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        Here in Belgium, pretty much all ISP provided routers use channel 1 exclusively (at least the ones from Belgacom/Proximus).
        Result: I can see up to 30-odd wireless networks, the vast majority on channel 1.

        And, no, no channel-hopping going on, as best I can tell.

  • "up to". They all pretty much just say that they won't be giving you MORE than the listed bandwidth.
  • My roommate is paying for a 50Mb connection from Comcast. If he speed test with most external test servers, he gets 50Mb or better. If he speed test with a Comcast test server, he gets 175Mb. Something fishy is going on here.
    • the 50mb cable wire is identical to the 300mb one. who says comcast is setting the speed you pay for at the client? maybe they are doing it on their edge routers or devices which is why anything inside their network is faster?
  • ...then my ISP only be entitled to payments of up to $49.99 a month from me.
    • ...then my ISP only be entitled to payments of up to $49.99 a month from me.

      Yeah, good luck with that. I'm sure that kind of bartering was effective. About 50 years and 17 monopolies ago.

      Today you'll be responded with a service cancellation notice. Fuck You Very Much and Have a Nice Day.

      Oh, you think you'll hurt them by threatening to leave? Please. There's 10 other customers behind you. And another 50 behind them. Either shut the fuck up, or step aside. Monopolies have proven that there's always enough customers that they can always afford to walk around with corporate Fu

      • My ISP has a monopoly because their franchise agreement gives it to them, ignoramus. That's not capitalism. It's not regardless of current law, it's because of it. A healthy dose of capitalism is exactly what the ISP market needs.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Capitalism won't help. ISPs will avoid competing in the same area. It's too expensive for the small ones to lay cable of their own, so without the law forcing larger ones to share their networks there will be zero competition.

          The best option would be government owned fibre, with franchises to run and maintain it and open access for all isps.

          • by dave420 ( 699308 )

            As shown in markets with thriving, competitive ISPs. We don't have a different road network for each manufacturer of car, so why put up with it for internet access?

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        DSL is awesome for that. If my ISP irks me, I just call another service provider and I'm good to go. I don't even lose service - it just magically keeps on working. Note: My ISP doesn't piss me off. I don't know where you live but where I live they are unable to stop the service from being provided by another company. Why? They're telephone lines and the various communications laws meant to protect consumers actually have some benefits to the consumers. Cable is not a societal need, no matter how much we wa

  • Surely an Attorney General should realize that all the ISPs have all covered their asses with that little caveat.

  • SamKnows ! (Score:4, Informative)

    by swell ( 195815 ) <> on Monday December 14, 2015 @04:54PM (#51117103)

    All the good AG has to do is go to []

    They collect data about ISPs worldwide from people like me and you and report to governments and other interested parties. I get a monthly report with graphs that show my up/down speed, my latency, my lost packet percentage for each day of the month. Helpful for me, helpful for others.

    For the NY AG, they will tell him the claimed vs actual performance of each ISP with lovely charts, graphs and great detail.

    This costs me nothing. They sent me a 'whitebox' from the UK which is connected to my router. I'm pretty sure they aren't spying on my pron sessions, but don't really care. You can join the 440,000 of us in the program too.

    Additionally, [] collects a great deal of information about ISPs. Mostly anecdotal, voluntarily submitted by site users. You may find this site useful too.

    • I am worried. Looking over their site,

      Our regulatory clients
      We work with Consumers, ISPs and Governments all over the world

      So, this is a box that reads all my data sent upstream, and reports to the USA government ...

      What does the privacy policy say?

      It may however become necessary - by law, legal process, litigation, and/or requests from public and governmental authorities within or outside your country of residence

      So, by request from governmental authorities outside your country of residence ...

      That is no privacy at all. Seriously. This could easily be an NSA operation in disguise -- heck, no wonder they can just give this box away for free.

  • It says so...very clearly on page 23 of the fine print. It is the section entitled "You give us money and we might** give you service". **One day per year, on Feb 3rd during the hours of 2-3 am EST. Your results may vary, it which case your equipment is to blame. If you don't receive the advertised speeds during this time frame please contact customer support and we will be happy to walk you through the troubleshooting steps on our website that don't work.
  • Broadband is a shared environment. If you are the only one on the network you get full speed. When when others are on as well you get much less. So depending on the contract, you are possibility getting the speed you pay for but only under ideal circumstances.

    • This is the problem I'm having. Off peak usage hours, I get 70% of what I'm paying for according to During peak usage hours in the evening and on Sundays, I have been getting about 3Kbps-- totally unusable. It's very obviously a lack of provisioning for the number of subscribers they have.
    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      Broadband is not inherently shared and there are different levels of sharing. While I share a physical line, I have dedicated bandwidth because my ISP does not oversubscribe to the trunk.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:13PM (#51117621) Journal

    A North Carolina town has passed a law against unplugged ethernet cables because they're worried all those gigabits will just leak out onto the ground and soon flood out all the tobacco plants.

    • I have to respond to this. It's brilliant! I just shared the Woodland Big Solar thing with several friends and family members. I would've bet money that was an Onion article. Wow!

      Anyhow, great comment. I was wishing I could mod your comment "hilarious" instead of just "funny." So I replied instead.

  • They create a site for testing the speed of your Internet connection... and then they ask you to make a screenshot of the test results, go to another site, fill out a form by hand-copying the test results, and submit the form along with the screenshot? Is this some kind of joke?

  • The answer is to break up the ISP regional monopolies. More competition will breed better service and innovation. What we have now is a steady as she goes model. If we had stuck with ATT&T as THE long distance company we'd still be paying horrendous rates and using the second cousin of the Bakelite phone.
  • now this is something government should be doing. You go get gasoline. No one ever measures the gallon/liter, you trust government to certify this. You buy milk. You trust that the number on the carton is true. I live in a good place. We have Fios and Cable on the same street, and in a world with at least duopoly, they don't play games.
  • Depending on how long DNS requests are delayed.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun