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  • From: "Lauren Rotman" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Launches Beta Version of Internet Speed Test
  • Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 12:20:34 -0500 LAUNCHES BETA VERSION OF INTERNET SPEED TEST; NEW WEB

WASHINGTON D.C. - March 3, 2008 --, a new web site
designed to help Internet users measure and gauge broadband availability,
competition, speeds, and prices, on Monday announced the availability of a
beta version of an Internet speed test at Through
the release of the beta version, encourages testing and
feedback of the technology in preparation for a national release.

The speed test seeks to allow consumers all across America to test their
high-speed Internet connections to determine whether broadband providers are
delivering the promised services. At, users can learn
about local broadband availability, competition, speeds and service. By
participating in the speed test and an anonymous online census
questionnaire, users can greatly contribute to the nation's knowledge and
understanding about the state of the nation's broadband competition and

"We believe the Broadband Census will provide vital statistics to the public
and to policy makers about the true state of broadband in our country
today," said Drew Clark, Executive Director of "By
releasing a beta version of the speed test, we hope to encourage feedback
from early adopters in the research and education community so that we can
create an even more robust mechanism for collecting broadband data." is deploying the NDT (Network Diagnostic Tool), an
open-source network performance testing system designed to identify computer
configuration and network infrastructure problems that can degrade broadband
performance. The NDT is under active development by the Internet2 community,
an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education
community. The NDT has been used by other broadband mapping endeavors,
including the eCorridors Program at Virginia Tech, which is working to
collect data of residential and small business broadband trends throughout
the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Internet2 supports its more than 300 member organizations in getting the
best performance from their advanced network connections," said Gary
Bachula, Internet2 vice president for external relations. "We are pleased
that the Network Diagnostic Tool can play an important role in helping U.S.
citizens and policy makers gain a better understanding of existing broadband
services. This information will help consumers and policy makers make better
decisions about future broadband services," said Bachula.

"The eCorridors Program endorses and supports the Broadband Census as a
means of continuing the effort with the participation of key national
players," said Brenda van Gelder, Program Director of eCorridors. Virginia
Tech launched the first of its kind community broadband access map and speed
test in July 2006. "We believe that mapping broadband along with these other
factors can have significant political and economic impacts by providing the
public a user-friendly, grassroots tool for maintaining oversight of
available internet services, applications, bandwidth and pricing."

The NDT provides network performance information directly to a user by
running a short diagnostic test between a Web browser on a desktop or laptop
computer and one of several NDT servers around the country. The NDT software
helps users get a reading on their network speed and also to understand what
may be causing specific network performance issues.

Congress and state government officials have all recently focused on the
need for better broadband data. And the Federal Communications Commission
last week called for greater transparency about the speeds and prices of
service offered by broadband carriers.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Chairman of the House Subcommittee on
Telecommunications and the Internet, has introduced legislation that would
provide the public with better broadband information. Markey's "Broadband
Census of America Act," H.R. 3919, has passed the House of Representatives
and is now before the Senate.

By allowing users to participate in collecting Broadband Census data, aims to build on these initiatives, and to provide
consumers and policy-makers with timely tools to understanding broadband
availability, adoption and competition.

Additionally, Pew Internet & American Life Project has contracted with to gather anonymized information about users' broadband
experiences on the web site, and to incorporate those findings into Pew's
2008 annual broadband report.

"Connection speed matters greatly to people's online surfing patterns, but
few home broadband users know how fast their on-ramp to cyberspace is," said
John Horrigan, Associate Director for Research with the Pew Internet &
American Life Project. " will help fill a gap in
understanding how evolving broadband networks influence users' online
behavior." is made available under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial License. That means that the content on is available for all to view, copy, redistribute and
reuse for FREE, providing that attribution is provided to, and that such use is done for non-commercial purposes.

About Broadband
Broadband Census LLC is organized as a Limited Liability Company in the
Commonwealth of Virginia. Drew Clark is the principal member of Broadband
Census LLC. To find out more about the organizations and individuals
providing financial, technical, research or outreach support to the
Broadband Census, please visit For more information:

About Pew Internet & American Life Project:
The Pew Internet & American Life Project produces reports that explore the
impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life,
education, health care, and civic and political life. The Project aims to be
an authoritative source on the evolution of the internet through collection
of data and analysis of real-world developments as they affect the virtual
world. For more information:

About Virginia Tech e-Corridors Project:
eCorridors is an outreach program of Virginia Tech that was established in
2000. Its activities include telecommunications policy, communications
infrastructure, research and other computing applications as well as
community networks and economic development in a networked world. eCorridors
is a primary means through which government, private sector industry and
community stakeholders participate and collaborate with Virginia Tech
researchers and IT professionals. For more information:

Drew Clark, Executive Director

Telephone: 202-580-8196

  • Launches Beta Version of Internet Speed Test, Lauren Rotman, 03/03/2008

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