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Washington Wants 10,000 Web Surfers 147

Posted by kdawson
from the you-only-have-to-wire-money-to-this-account dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "This one sounds too good to be true: surf the Web, and you'll be helping the government. The FCC is looking for 10,000 volunteers to take part in a study to determine if broadband providers are really providing Internet connections that are as fast as advertised. The broad look at broadband will involve special equipment installed in homes across the country to measure Internet connections and compare them to advertised speeds." Here's where to go to apply.
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Washington Wants 10,000 Web Surfers

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  • Hide the fileboxes kiddies!
    • It's a trap! Are we actually supposed to believe that even if they *do* find foul play, the ISP's are actually going to get punished with any efficacy?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by davester666 (731373)

        You don't think the major ISP's have the ability to prioritize traffic to specific locations. Methinks consumers will happen to get much better throughput to this website than they will get to most others...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by clarkn0va (807617)

          You don't think the major ISP's have the ability to prioritize traffic to specific locations. Methinks consumers will happen to get much better throughput to this website than they will get to most others...

          As long as it's in the ISP's interest to cast their speed in the best light (and I would think so in this case), I think it's pretty much a given that they will game this test accordingly, to the extent that they can.

          • You think the FCC didn't already have consultants who considered this possibility? It seems like there would be a variety of ways to defeat this sort of 'gaming' of the system.

            Regardless, this is the sort of thing that would have been unthinkable just two years ago. Glad to see the FCC is working on improving the Googles. The United States has fallen behind many other countries in the metrics of delivery of internet access (speed, price, access). It is a competitive advantage for the U.S. to have it wide
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Methinks consumers will happen to get much better throughput to this website than they will get to most others...

          It'll be like the well-known food critic who goes to a downtown restaurant and writes "The service is uniformly excellent... Portions are big and the coat-check girl extremely friendly".

      • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @04:37AM (#32428962)
        Well, seeing as how they're looking for volunteers it's not as if they're going to uncover anything illegal. Think about it, what person that downloads illegal material would, in their right mind, volunteer to have a freaking monitoring box hooked up to their network.

        So probably not a trap.

        Yes, the ISPs have lobbyists and I'd usually be quick to say that nothing will happen because the lobbyists will kill anything they don't like. But at the same time the government has never actually gone to the effort of doing this type or survey before. Sure, you can write off an internet speed test as nothing more than lip service, but a study involving 10000 and monitoring equipment for an extended period of time? This indicates that they're actually prepared to do something. No doubt the lobbyists have already been campaigning against this but apparently it didn't stop them from moving forward with it anyway.
        • Lets look at this logically.

          Who uses broadband speeds to their max? For any sustained amount of time? Someone who is downloading large files. That would be:

          People downloading lots of ISO's of linux distros and such. (The mythical "I need torrentz for my linux habit, don't tread on my packets dood" kind of guy)

          The limewire / bit torrent / movie and music and warez downloading fiend.

          Someone who does massive amounts of VOD streaming

          None of these will be doing this volunteer thing...

          You're going to have
        • by nospam007 (722110) *

          "So probably not a trap."

          Don't you remember the old saying:

          "If it is too good to be true, it probably is!"

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:43PM (#32427138)

    If you get selected, can you call up your ISP and give them a head's up? Maybe you could get a ... special price for a big upgrade in speed.

    More seriously, since my only realistic option to get decent Internet speed is Verizon Fios, and they've basically given up on rolling that out, I'm basically screwed for at least another few years. Serves me right for being a loyal Verizon customer for over a decade, my fault.

    • I don't see why they have to hire outsiders. I'm pretty sure that there are at least 10,000 government workers surfing the web full-time at work as it is, including at least one state senator [youtube.com].

      Oh, wait, they want to test bandwidth that isn't paid for by the government. Sorry, my bad.
  • by thePsychologist (1062886) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:44PM (#32427144) Journal

    This thing doesn't look at your surfing habits, and it's not available to those who download more than 30GB/month, which probably excludes many Slashdotters.

    • This thing doesn't look at your surfing habits, ...

      And how do you know this?

      • by toleraen (831634) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:51PM (#32427202)
        Because the FCC says so! [testmyisp.com] They've never lied to anyone, right?
        • Well, I imagine any reasonably competent techie would be able to take a look at the equipment and see if it does what it says, wouldn't they? Unless you think they're going to waste time with some hardcore black-box type shit.

          • Unless you think they're going to waste time with some hardcore black-box type shit.

            Yeah, I imagine if they were going to deceive the participants, they wouldn't take steps to hide it. It's probably just plaintext HTTP post requests or some XML-RPC's.

            On a serious note, if there is a good level of security on the device the best you can hope for is learning destination address(es), payload signatures, payload captures, and traffic patterns. All these items are relatively meaningless unless you have a high degree of knowledge. A serious crytpo person might able to get more detail, but the

            • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              I also imagine some Canadians would appreciate you changing or removing your sig.

              Why? They're sorry he's Canadian too.

          • Since one of the participation requirements is that you have to "promise not to reverse engineer the box", I'm guessing that it will do something more than just plain-text pass through "counting" of packets over time.

            And since every packet is going to go through this box, that means that every packet can be monitored as it's registered for "bandwidth" purposes.

            My vote goes towards the black box approach, otherwise why would the be so adamant about people reverse engineering it?

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              Since one of the participation requirements is that you have to "promise not to reverse engineer the box", I'm guessing that it will do something more than just plain-text pass through "counting" of packets over time.

              And since every packet is going to go through this box, that means that every packet can be monitored as it's registered for "bandwidth" purposes.

              My vote goes towards the black box approach, otherwise why would the be so adamant about people reverse engineering it?

              Because people on both sides (

          • by JWSmythe (446288)

            I'd imagine it would be a nice unhackable black box. All they'd have to do is build out a little *nix box, and send "statistics" back home over an encrypted channel. We wouldn't know the difference between it sending bandwidth stats, or a list of all URL's that were requested.

            Yes big brother, please put your box in my home. I'm not doing anything wrong. :) With the searches I've done on Google, I'm surprised there aren't a few extra black vans parked outside the house. Hmm

          • What is this 1966? You can't just look at the flashing lights to see what it's doing. Besides, all they have to do is put it in a box and lock the box.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by beakerMeep (716990)
        They hired the Google Street View team to code the drivers.
  • The Government? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:46PM (#32427156)
    Are you sure this isn't an effort by the *IAA crowd to 'happen upon' illegal file sharing or other such frowned upon activities?

    Call me stupid, paranoid or even bat-shit crazy, but I don't want the government (or *IAA) installing a device that my "bandwidth" goes through. If they want that level of access let them get a warrant ;-)
    • Re:The Government? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by FlyByPC (841016) on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @11:09PM (#32427310) Homepage
      Well, you could do a reverse sting. Set up a bunch of torrents of Ubuntu Linux or some such totally Free content, then rename it as AvatarDVDRip.iso.torrent or something like that (with the content files renamed as well). Or use random data so it won't match the Ubuntu checksum, if they look for that. When they complain, you've got 'em.
      • by awall222 (1276148)

        When they complain, you've got 'em.

        until they get a search warrant for your computer and you get sued for every mp3 you can't prove you purchased...

        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          You'd have the advantage of knowing it was a sting before they could get a search warrant. Obviously if you are going to attempt something like this you'd do it with squeeky clean computers prepared beforehand for exactly this task.

        • They don't sue for downloading, they sue for "making available".
      • by jamesh (87723)

        I'd definitely go with the random data. Only a pirates use Linux so you'd be determined guilty right from the start!

        I think it would be fun to start naming Ubuntu releases after the latest movies. Then we could have 'Avatar', 'Hurtlocker', 'Toystory3' etc

        • I'd definitely go with the random data. Only a pirates use Linux so you'd be determined guilty right from the start!

          I think it would be fun to start naming Ubuntu releases after the latest movies. Then we could have 'Avatar', 'Hurtlocker', 'Toystory3' etc

          Debian releases are already named after Toy Story characters. But then perhaps we could tie each Ubuntu release in with some well-known cartoon character: 4.10 was Pumbaa, 5.04 was Sonic, 7.04 was Bambi, 9.10 was Blinky Bill...

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by stms (1132653)
      If you worried about the *IAA I don't think this service is for you ;).
    • How about a bunch of ACORN volunteers bitching about poor service so the Government (e.g. YOU) need to step in and shovel money at yet another "problem"...
      • That's exactly what this appears to be. Not that the government hasn't been known to throw cash an resources away, but I imagine that they intent to use this data for something. Either they will use it to create rules that will reward "good" (plays well with Uncle Sam) ISPs or they will use it to provide a "public option" for internet. I would guess that this isn't so trivial as finding software pirates. Either way, it will hurt most of us.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      You plug it into your router, your traffic doesn't go through it, its a stand alone device just like another PC. If you use a real switch it will never know anything about your other traffic. Use a hub or a fake 'switch' and it might be different.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      Go to dictionary.com and look up the word 'volunteer', I'm sure you won't find the word 'warrant' in that definition.

      Of course if you don't volunteer then you obviously have something to hide :)

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        You can volunteer to let the police into your house to search. They sometimes try that. "May we have a look around your [house/car/office]?" People usually say "yes" thinking it'll help them. Nope, it won't. Just ask a defense attorney. Never, ever, ever, give up anything you don't have to. Even innocent things can be made to look dangerous. My garage has plastic sheeting, duct tape, rope, shovels, saws, and other assorted tools. If they suspected that I broke into a home, killed th

        • by delinear (991444)
          Of course, if you force them to go through the hassle of getting a warrant, and meanwhile they catch you disposing of all that legitimate equipment (because you don't want to be implicated in something you didn't do), it definitely looks like you're guilty, so you're pretty much damned if you do and damned if you don't.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by JWSmythe (446288)

            Nope, you don't dispose of anything, because as you indicated, you'll be busted for tampering with evidence.

            Tell them "Not without a warrant, and I'm not talking without my lawyer", go inside, pour yourself a nice cold (non-alcoholic) drink. Then go sit on the porch smile and wait for your lawyer to arrive and for the judge to say no to the warrant because they didn't have just cause for the search in the first place. If they had cause in the first place, they wouldn't have t

  • by GrahamCox (741991)
    Why would I help the government? Are they going to pay me? If not, it's hardly "too good to be true", more like doing their work for them.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I seem to remember hearing stories of yesteryear that discussed common folks volunteering to make this country a better place.

      Now the country is just filled with douchebags I guess. Yes, why wouldn't you want to help the FCC blast the big telecoms when all these tests show their networks are complete shit? Why wouldn't you want to give the FCC more ammo for net neutrality?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by daveime (1253762)

        Because like everything else, the days of "being a good neighbour" are long gone.

        Example that happened to my own brother years ago ... We were out on the town one Friday, and my brother spotted something amiss further up the avenue. A guy beating the crap out of (presumably) his girlfriend. My brother runs up and punches the guy out. Next thing the police arrive, immediately get the wrong end of the stick (helped in part by the stupid girl who then defended her boyfriend's actions and said my brother had be

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          He learned the wrong lesson. It wasn't "do not get involved", it was "don't stay around for the glamor of being a hero." As soon as the fight was done, walk away. He'd know he did the right thing. The girl would know she was saved from getting her ass kicked. The boyfriend would think twice about doing it next time, since some random stranger kicked his ass for doing the wrong thing.

          There's no reason to stay around. If he didn't get arrested, and she told the truth, he'd still be in c

        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>Fuck it, better to be safe than sorry ...

          Coward.

          Your brother shouldn't have just run in and thrown a punch, but he was still trying to do the right thing. As soon as normal people stop trying to care for their fellow man, that's the end of civilization, man. You think the police by themselves can keep a civilization running when it doesn't want to?

          A week or so ago I found a naked drunk guy passed out on the asphalt at 2AM, in cold weather. I woke him up, probably saved his life, but he attacked me f

        • by Machtyn (759119)
          There is truth behind the phrase: "No good deed goes unpunished."
          There is also truth behind the phrase: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
        • If ever a post detailed, through anecdote, precisely what has gone wrong with American society, this is it. The story of your brother, the unhealthy, 'fuck everyone else,' attitude that such incidents instill in our populace, and the requirement of a damn judge to dismiss your brother's charge are all a screaming testament to the lack of respect that folk these days have for themselves and one another. It's a sad day, indeed, when you cannot be a good neighbor without facing a criminal charge.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by muridae (966931)
      The re-captcha I got when looking at the signup sheet was "that narcs". While not being paranoid about helping the government, this detail does give me pause.
    • by dbet (1607261) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:22AM (#32428104)
      Well, they either ask for volunteers, or hire people. Option 1 costs them (and you) less.
    • by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:26AM (#32428128)

      Why would I help the government? Are they going to pay me? If not, it's hardly "too good to be true", more like doing their work for them.

      Why would you help the government? Doing their work for them? Last I checked, this was a government by the People for the People, and if you are a citizen of the United States of America, you are a part of that. It's one thing if you argue against this initiative because it's not something you would like your tax dollars spent on, but to insinuate that the government is using the citizens to get "free" work out of them is almost offensive.

      Now, if this was a mandatory program, that would be a completely different story, but this is a voluntary way that you may apply to take part in of crowdsourcing data about the ISPs that we all know have been guilty of little (and some not so little) lies about the capabilities of their networks in a way that doesn't cost a fuckshitton of money and can be constantly monitored for realtime results.

      • by GrahamCox (741991)
        Last I checked, this was a government by the People for the People

        Are you certain about that? Really?

        and if you are a citizen of the United States of America

        Actually, I'm not. It was a hypothetical question.
        • and if you are a citizen of the United States of America

          Actually, I'm not. It was a hypothetical question.

          That's irrelevant, because you participated in a scenario involving the United States, so your hypothetical question involves you hypothetically being a United States citizen.

      • by tsm_sf (545316)
        but to insinuate that the government is using the citizens to get "free" work out of them is almost offensive.

        While factually correct, your post goes against the narrative we're trying to push here. "Us" vs. "Them" doesn't work too well if there is no "them".
        • While factually correct, your post goes against the narrative we're trying to push here. "Us" vs. "Them" doesn't work too well if there is no "them".

          But the point is clear. I guess I should have put "them" in quotes as well.

      • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:17AM (#32430380) Homepage Journal

        Last I checked, this was a government by the People for the People

        You need to check again.

      • Last I checked, this was a government by the People for the People,

        Aw, that's so adorable.

      • by jc42 (318812)

        Last I checked, this was a government by the People for the People, ...

        Nah; it's a government of the Corporations for the Corporations. Unless you have sufficient spare cash to match their "campaign contributions", you don't count.

        (And it doesn't really matter that the "government by the People for the People" phrase is an Americanism; this pretty much applies to most of the governments in the world. You may have a voice with your local government, if it's too small and unimportant to attract corporate ca

    • Heaven forfend the government initiate any kind of scheme to listen to its electorate, because then they might have to talk!

  • Adverse selection anyone?

    • by GaryOlson (737642)
      Since the majority of the traffic measured will be YouTube and Facebook, this will be an excellent tool for these companies to statistically prove the ISPs are throttling their traffic. Useful traffic patterns will be dismissed as statistical noise. More wasted tax dollars at unwork.
  • News to me (Score:1, Troll)

    by tpstigers (1075021)
    So now helping the government = good. Wow. What country do you live in?
  • Argh! for the 8^56th time!

    - "Washington" is a US State founded in 1889.
    - "Washington D.C." is the Capital of the United States.

    This article was obviously not written by anyone on the west coast.

  • As a consumer... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip DOT paradis AT palegray DOT net> on Tuesday June 01, 2010 @10:59PM (#32427246) Homepage Journal
    I care about speed, but I also care about transfer caps. Note that I'm not saying we should legislate this (I'm about to pay for "business class" service without a cap), but I'm saying 250 GB a month doesn't cut it for me. I transfer large disk images (server backups, even compressed, they're big) several times per month , move virtual machine images around on a routine basis, use streaming video services in lieu of television, streaming audio on top of that, etc. The list goes on, and my #1 concern isn't the transfer speed anymore. It's the transfer cap.
  • I'm on DSL and I never hit my paid for maximum. More or less I expected never to actually reach this rate because it was stated up front this was a theoretical maximum and it is what it is. (Read, haha sucker.)

    The 20% less then advertised speed I can actually live with. It's the latency that I find horrendous. In addition their hideous network of latency hell I also get interleaving. I love a little boost of 32ms added to an already slow and hoppy network.

    Well it is unfortunately this or some awful awful IS

  • it sais to promise not to unplug your modem. thats much to hard, if my look at mine funny it falls over and the power cord falls ou
  • ..."is looking for 10,000 volunteers" to monitor for all kinds of stuff.

  • I don't...
    Comcast frequently throttles connections. Aside from that, I am supposed to be at 22 Mbit per sec. It usually idles around 17 18 in tests and drops to 8-12 about 30 minutes into large downloads.

    That is definitely not what is advertised.

    If this helps the government come down on those practices then great.

    But yeah... I'm not signing up...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by muridae (966931)

      So, you are willing to complain, but not willing to do anything about it? The people who don't have a problem with this policy probably will not bother to join in. So how, exactly, do you think the government can "come down on those practices" if no one is willing to do more than say "My ISP does this, but I will not help you prove it"?

      Put this device between your DMZ/wifi router and your internal router. Then just make sure your torrent or other illicit traffic goes around this device. Easy, helps you nail

      • Are there not other options? It would be very easy for them to gather information from the online speed test. Provider can easily be determined. All you would need was a check box establishing advertised bandwidth.
    • Yeah about that... Actually it's completely what's advertised, and what's more it isn't even in any fine print: it's in the FAQ [comcast.com]: ...customers' accounts must exceed a certain percentage of their upstream or downstream (both currently set at 70%) bandwidth for longer than a certain period of time, currently set at fifteen minutes.

      Emphasis mine.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Ya lucky bastard! You Comcast guys don't know how good you got it, do you? Try Cox sometime, and enjoy paying $145 for a lousy 2Mbit (that's right, a whole 2) with a cap of 36Gb! oh and if you go over, which they don't bother giving you any kind of app so you're best guessing, it's $1.50 a Gb after! The only good thing about their service is the VoIP, and since my GF lives 250 miles away round trip it is the only reason I've stayed. Well that and the fact the local AT&T DSL is lucky to hit 756k when it

  • by astro (20275)

    There's no way in hell that I would voluntarily give the feds unfettered access to my web surfing logs. I'm a pretty innocent guy, but imagine the expansion of this program if it "succeeds".

  • Who hasn't heard of speakeasy.net?

    • by Scutter (18425)

      Who hasn't heard of speakeasy.net?

      Speakeasy is awesome....when you can get it. The only thing I've been able to get from them in the 8 years at this location is IDSL. I had to go with SBC to get anything faster.

    • This is a great tool to see the "best scenario", but a direct connection to a speakeasy server isn't everything. For instance an internet service provider could be...

      Filtering your traffic deeming what it feels is "worthy of quality bandwidth

      -and-

      A network can be considered "good" getting to some main nodes and whatnot, but what really defines a good network is the reliability, latency, and speed to those "tricky" spots.

      I am really just using analogies here, but speakeasy.net is a great tool to be used

  • How many surfers does it take jump start SKYNET?
  • Seriously /.? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AngryPhysicist (1824196) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:39AM (#32427832)
    I'm impressed. Really I am. Of all the complaints I've read in commentary, about the way major ISP's are treating their customers, this should be a call to arms for everyone. But no, everyone here has to put on their tin-foil hat and cower in fear because the government is actually trying to give a damn. They are asking for your help to prove to the rest of the nation that you are being ripped off by your ISP. They even describe what they intend to do with your bandwidth usage in the FAQs!

    How does this affect my security and privacy? The unit operates as a normal router and exposes absolutely no services to the Internet. It's similar to installing a print server or a NAS on to your home network - it's a cut down device that serves a very specific purpose. We should point out that assuming the unit is installed as per the instructions, all network traffic will be flowing through it. However, the unit simply acts as a standard switch or standard router and does not look at any of the packets flowing across your network. It only monitors traffic volumes for the purposes of deciding when to run (or not to run!) the tests and to measure consumption. Testing information uploaded from the unit to our servers contains no information about you whatsoever. Furthermore, all such communications are encrypted, ensuring that results cannot be tampered with en-route. Your individual unit's test results will be available to you alone. Your unit's results will also be aggregated with others from the same ISP to form a larger average set of results that can be viewed publicly. We have absolutely no intention of doing anything that may adversely affect your privacy or security. If you have any concerns please feel free to contact us to discuss them. SamKnows, on behalf of the FCC, is collecting and storing broadband performance information, including various personally identifiable information (PII) such as the street addresses, email addresses, online usage patterns, and broadband performance information, from those individuals who are participating voluntarily in this test. SamKnows will not release, disclose to the public, or share any PII with any outside entities, including the FCC, except as is consistent with the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93579 (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(5)). For more information, see the SamKnows privacy policy. The broadband performance information that is made available to the public, including the FCC, will be in an aggregated form and with all PII removed, in compliance with subsection (b)(5) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a), and the SamKnows privacy policy. The broadband performance information that is made available to the public, including the FCC, will be in an aggregated form and with all PII removed, in compliance with subsection (b)(5) of the SamKnows privacy policy. The FCC is soliciting this information under authority of the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-385, Stat 4096 103(c)(1); American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat 115 (2009); and Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    https://www.testmyisp.com/faq.html [testmyisp.com] If you consider this flaimbait, I don't care. But for once, stop being paranoid and actually take the chance to help out. And before anyone asks, yes I am new here.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And before anyone asks, yes I am new here.

      ...then how did you know to say that?

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>But no, everyone here has to put on their tin-foil hat and cower in fear because the government is actually trying to give a damn.

      Government spying vs. a chance to take Comcast down a notch?

      My lord, man, stop! You'll cause their heads to explode!

  • I don't claim to be a hard-core network tech, but it seems that this device is just a router/gateway, which you could presumably just attach to your existing router, rather than replace it. This way, you wouldn't be passing your traffic through it, and it presumably wouldn't be able to see anything beyond what your router decides to route in its direction, and it could still perform its tests.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Let's assume that there are bandwidth shenanigans going on. What do you think is going to happen here?

    1) FCC sends out boxes
    2) ISPs put a high bounty on finding a box-recipient to cooperate with their engineers for testing
    3) ISPs use what they learn to identify every box-recipient via the boxes' reporting data back to the central server
    4) All box-recipients get double speed broadband, to the detriment of everyone else.

    When the plan is that obvious, it really makes you question the FCC that much more in this

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      4) All box-recipients get double speed broadband, to the detriment of everyone else.

      Then I write FakeBox and foil their plans.

  • Do the companies provide as much speed as they advertise? Umm... no, not at all. I'm lucky to get my Charter Cable connection to work at all between midnight and 4am. I usually lose my connection 4-5 times daily (during the normal day, not the 12am to 4am). It is a POS but my only option for high speed. I have had 15-20 techs out at different times, and the last one finally admitted "no one gets the full speed" that is advertised. After talking to many of my "less tech savvy" neighbors I found out they

  • In this case, this looks like gently exploitative crowdsourcing (someone needs to coin a phrase for that). I am very reminded of the

    microsoft scam email [snopes.com]

    which still does the rounds. classic stuff.

  • These folks - http://www.samknows.com/ [samknows.com] - do a similar thing in the UK conencted to ofcom (similar body to FCC), and a look at the website indicates it actually probably is them.

    • by Spad (470073)

      I think the real giveaway was the copyright notice at the bottom of www.testmyisp.com

      Copyright © 2003-2010 SamKnows.com

  • I've been with a few different ones and never get what I'm paying for. Bandwidth Speed tests don't prove very much unless you're expanding your testing to check points of origins of requests back to requestor. If two different providers take different paths, then the comparisons are poor. If I use 3 providers at the same time to access the same info from the same point of orgin and they take the same path, then I can provide a more accurate picture of what the results are. But as I understand it, the in

  • No.

    Thanks for your time, glad to inform.

    I'm not even in your country and I know, THIS CAME WAY TOO LATE.

    Please also check out VOIP and sharing over a home network, various ISPs turn these features on and off at will when they feel threatened or just hostile.

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