Speed Test Results

Cutler James R james.cutler at consultant.com
Fri Dec 23 14:02:01 UTC 2011

On Dec 23, 2011, at 8:07 AM, Paul Stewart wrote:

> In my opinion they are only "somewhat reliable" if they are on your network
> or very close to your network -we operate one of the speedtest.net sites and
> for our own eyeball traffic find it to be a "reasonable indicator" of what
> kind of speeds the customer is getting.
> To put it a different way, if a customer is getting 20X1 Internet service
> and the speedtest shows 17 X 0.8 then case closed - if they are getting a
> speedtest result of 5 X 0.5 then our helpdesk will take a further look -
> this is really in rough terms...
> Paul

From the consumer viewpoint:

No single data point should be extrapolated to infinity, but comparing problematic behavior with "normal" behavior is a standard process across all fields.

Speed tests from several locations done regularly give a baseline for performance.  Major departure from expected numbers from a set of speed test sites can be regarded as an indicator of local loop problems. Did you know that local loops suffer from backhoe fade?  And, DSLAMS fail.

In my home office, speed tests are just another useful diagnostic helping to locate problem areas - just like in Paul's example.  DSLReports line monitoring service is a similarly useful tool.

James R. Cutler
james.cutler at consultant.com

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