Ookla’s new and improved speed test

Thanks to Ann Higgins for the heads up on Ookla’s speed test and ISP ranking tool. The speed test is still very easy to take – simply click on a button, but now once you get your speeds, Ookla will ask you for more information:

  • Advertised upload speed
  • Advertised download speed
  • Monthly changes and add-ons (phone, TV)
  • Postal code

They are aggregating this info to provide ISP ranking, which will be udates daily. You remember there was a lot of discussion about the validity of Ookla tests two winters ago (Feb 2009)

One thing they can’t fix is the accuracy of the Ookla tests used to gauge speeds partially because there are so many things that come into play with testing bandwidth: the quality of the computer, the network card, congestion of Internet at just about every router.

I think they’ve handled this in creative way – with ads for faster browsers and PC scans. It doesn’t correct the problem – but I think it helps people recognize the issues. Telecompetitor reports on the tests thus far…

In the near future, Ookla intends to add a Value component to Net Index that will allow consumers “to see the cost breakdown associated with broadband services by country, state, city, and even ISP.” According to preliminary data, the average monthly broadband bill for US customers amounts to $47.32, with the average cost per Mb/s coming in at $5.06.

The other day I wrote about how most folks don’t really know the speed of their Internet connection. Tools like this will help. Dave Peters asked about what might get people thinking about speeds – and that got me thinking. I thought about the things I do measure; temperature and car speed came to mind. I know what 80 degrees is and I know what 30 mph feel like – because I look at the gauges for those measurements all of the time. Maybe we need an app to gauge broadband speed – something on the desktop that fluctuated as use/speeds. As 4g emerges an app will make even more sense.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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