Community Broadband Access Map Presented to the Virginia ...
Community Broadband Access Map Presented to the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association July, 2007 Jean Plymale Virginia Tech eCorridors Program www.ecorridors.vt.edu eCorridors The eCorridors program is the outreach arm of Virginia Techs Information Technologies Department Created in 2000 as a response to an increasing number
of requests to the University from communities for information and guidance in developing regional broadband infrastructures. The Community Broadband Access Map Why? Historically and legitimately, service providers resist sharing proprietary information regarding the geographic location of their Infrastructure and services. Originally the brainchild of the director of eC, Brenda van Gelder, the CBAM was envisioned as a community driven approach to mapping regional residential broadband availability. As a research tool the purpose of this application is to gain deeper insight into
the state of residential broadband availability in the Blacksburg region (and beyond. ) The goal is to be able to see where broadband services and providers are available in and around Blacksburg The CBAM Application The speed testing component: open-source, network diagnostic tool (NDT) developed for Internet2: http://e2epi.internet2.edu/ndt Integrated with the familiar Google Map product, http://maps.google.com, Speed test and map are tied together by a Java form through which users can measure their connection speeds (upload and download,) add optional descriptive information about their connection, (provider, cost, access type) and mark their geographic location
on the map. Additional data from speed test and service details supplied by the user are collected behind the scenes for deeper data analysis and more detailed mapping. Measures the bandwidth along the entire path of the network between the client and the speed test server. Includes areas outside the control of any particular service provider Results are topology dependent Publicly available at: http://www.ecorridors.vt.edu/maps/broadbandmap.php Over time and with enough data points, localities can use the CBAM and its associated data in the following ways:
In areas where the map reveals an abundance of high-speed connectivity, communities could use the map as a means to attract technology workers and employers. In areas where the map reveals a lack of high-speed connectivity, communities could use the map to justify the need for competitive service provision and/or the development of local infrastructure.
Service providers could use the map as a tool for locating new market areas. Citizens could use the map as an input to personal location decisions. To inform residents of local broadband conditions and available service providers.
To provide local oversight of advertised bandwidth compliance; an average of reported speeds should be close to providers advertised bandwidth capabilities. better mapping of broadband availability, would enable the public and private sectors to work together to target underserved areas. Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein July 24, 2007: http://www.telecomweb.com/tnd/24380.html (registration required) Sample Residential Stats as calculated from the CBAM speed test data Downstream (inbound or S2C) Median = 2.444 mbps
*Speedmatters.org reports the median download speed for the 50 states and the District of Columbia was 1.9 megabits per second (mbps) Upstream (outbound or C2S) Median = 430.5 kbps *Speedmatters.org reports the median upload speed from for the 50 states and the District of Columbia was 371 kilobits per second (kbps) Virginia Downstream: Median = 2.712 mbps
*Speedmatters.org reports the median download speed in Virginia was: 2.394 mbps Virginia Upstream: Median = 466.235 kbps *Speedmatters.org reports the median upload speed in Virginia was: 560 kbps Median: the middle number of a group of numbers; that is, half the numbers have values that are greater than the median, and half the numbers have values that are less than the median. For example, the median of 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, and 10 is 4. * http://www.speedmatters.org/document-library/sourcematerials/sm_report.pdf Sample Residential Stats
as reported from the CBAM service details Most common residential access type reported: DSL Of those who responded to the Rate Connection question: 89% rated their connections as adequate 11% rated their connections as inadequate Considerations Citizen input = data points = ability to make generalizations
Markers are only as accurate as the user allows A single speed test is not a fair assessment ; speed test results vary w/ time of day, network congestion, where the client is and where the speed test server is. Limitation: NDT not designed for dial-up but does work very slowly
Not everyone is familiar with familiar products: Google Maps, Java etc. Compromises had to be made; precision, accuracy, cost and privacy Other popular bandwidth speed tests include:
http://www.speedmatters.org/speed-test/?src=homebutton http://www.dslreports.com/stest http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ http://myspeed.visualware.com/ http://www.bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/ http://www.speedtest.net/ Attracted the interest of: Congressmen Rick Boucher; D-VA-9th District
Local private sector service providers Other states Federal agencies: National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
Policy experts including Drew Clark of The Center of Public Integrity, Well Connected Project: See Media Tracker, a free, zip code level media tracking service http://www.openairwaves.org/telecom/ Next Steps Solicit input Next BETA release, new variables, automated analysis Replace forum with some other mechanism Deeper data analysis, new reports and maps
What information would be useful for you Exploit networking details NDT offers Questions and/or Comments? Contact Jean Plymale [email protected] 540-231-2270 www.ecorridors.vt.edu
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