St Paul is number 1! But can we trust the test?

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Ookla, a well-known Seattle company that measures the speed of Internet connections, says St. Paul has recently become No. 1 in the nation in residential Internet download speeds. Minneapolis is no slouch either, coming in seventh in the current Net Index report.

But there are concerns about the testing tool – because they are considerably higher than Connected Nation found a year and a half ago.

You may remember that the validity of the Ookla speed tests was questioned in February 2009, when Connected Nation first unveiled their preliminary speed results. To their credit, Connected Nation made changes to the test to improve them. And I reported earlier this summer that the Ookla folks have recently improved their tests as well. Although I suspect their improvements involve what is tracked, not how it is tracked.

This time around the concern is that while reporting these numbers as residential, it seems as if some corporate connections may have been included in the mix. The Star Tribune outlines how the data is collected…

Ookla does its surveys of broadband speed in an unusual way. Rather than contact Internet users, it relies on the results from two free websites — and — that are available to consumers who want to measure their actual Internet speeds and the quality of their connections. The websites measure how much time it takes consumers to download or upload a certain amount of data, then determines what cities they live in by the Internet addresses of their computers, called the Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses.

Ookla measured at least 75,000 users from every metro area in its city rankings between Feb. 28 and Aug. 29, said spokeswoman Hanna Lane. To make sure the numbers truly reflected consumer Internet speeds, Ookla eliminated all IP addresses that belonged to businesses, she said.

I don’t know how effective that method is. I do know that I don’t come close to those speeds in St Paul. Also I know that rural areas would be pleased to get anything close to it.

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

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

3 thoughts on “St Paul is number 1! But can we trust the test?

  1. Pingback: St Paul attracting tech businesses « Blandin on Broadband

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