I led off the conversation on Speed Testing with a brief PowerPoint presentation Speed Tests: The What, Why and How (attached), covering what data most speed tests generate: Download Speed; Upload Speed; Ping/Latency; Jitter; and Packet Loss. I talked about the uses of speed tests for individuals and communities. I also discussed standard objections of providers to the use of speed tests to illustrate the quality of broadband services and some counterpoints to those sometimes-valid objections. Finally, I promoted a set off broadband speed test best practices for communities to use.
There was strong participation from the attendees including community leaders, broadband providers and GIS mapping specialists. At the core, communities are seeking to challenge maps that overstate broadband coverage which makes places ineligible for broadband funding like the FCC RDOF program and the Minnesota Border to Border program. There was frustration that while providers can simply claim that they provide service to an area, community activists have to provide highly documented data to refute provider claims. Adding to the injustice is the protocol that allows providers to claim service in an entire census block by providing service to a single location within that block.
We also heard brief updates from Colin Peterson’s congressional staff about new broadband legislation.
Join us next Tuesday at 9 am for our next discussion.