Proving Gig Speed

K. Scott Helms kscott.helms at
Wed Jul 18 12:40:31 UTC 2018

Agreed, and it's one of the fundamental problems that a speed test is (and
can only) measure the speeds from point A to point B (often both inside the
service provider's network) when the customer is concerned with traffic to
and from point C off in someone else's network altogether.  It's one of the
reasons that I think we have to get more comfortable and more collaborative
with the CDN providers as well as the large sources of traffic.  Netflix,
Youtube, and I'm sure others have their own consumer facing performance
testing that is _much_ more applicable to most consumers as compared to the
"normal" technician test and measurement approach or even the service
assurance that you get from normal performance monitoring.  What I'd really
like to see is a way to measure network performance from the CO/head
end/PoP and also get consumer level reporting from these kinds of
services.  If Google/Netflix/Amazon Video/$others would get on board with
this idea it would make all our lives simpler.

Providing individual users stats is nice, but if these guys really want to
improve service it would be great to get aggregate reporting by ASN.  You
can get a rough idea by looking at your overall graph from Google, but it's
lacking a lot of detail and there's no simple way to compare that to a head
end/CO test versus specific end users.

On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 8:27 AM Mark Tinka <mark.tinka at> wrote:

> On 18/Jul/18 14:00, K. Scott Helms wrote:
> That's absolutely a concern Mark, but most of the CPE vendors that support
> doing this are providing enough juice to keep up with their max
> forwarding/routing data rates.  I don't see 10 Gbps in residential Internet
> service being normal for quite a long time off even if the port itself is
> capable of 10Gbps.  We have this issue today with commercial customers, but
> it's generally not as a much of a problem because the commercial CPE get
> their usage graphed and the commercial CPE have more capabilities for
> testing.
> I suppose the point I was trying to make is when does it stop being
> feasible to test each and every piece of bandwidth you deliver to a
> customer? It may very well not be 10Gbps... perhaps it's 2Gbps, or 3.2Gbps,
> or 5.1Gbps... basically, the rabbit hole.
> Like Saku, I am more interested in other fundamental metrics that could
> impact throughput such as latency, packet loss and jitter. Bandwidth,
> itself, is easy to measure with your choice of SNMP poller + 5 minutes. But
> when you're trying to explain to a simple customer buying 100Mbps that a
> break in your Skype video cannot be diagnosed with a throughput speed test,
> they don't/won't get it.
> In Africa, for example, customers in only one of our markets are so
> obsessed with speed tests. But not to speed test servers that are
> in-country... they want to test servers that sit in Europe, North America,
> South America and Asia-Pac. With the latency averaging between 140ms -
> 400ms across all of those regions from source, the amount of energy spent
> explaining to customers that there is no way you can saturate your
> delivered capacity beyond a couple of Mbps using Ookla and friends is
> energy I could spend drinking wine and having a medium-rare steak, instead.
> For us, at least, aside from going on a mass education drive in this
> particular market, the ultimate solution is just getting all that content
> localized in-country or in-region. Once that latency comes down and the
> resources are available locally, the whole speed test debacle will easily
> fall away, because the source of these speed tests is simply how physically
> far the content is. Is this an easy task - hell no; but slamming your head
> against a wall over and over is no fun either.
> Mark.

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