Wooing Goo and the broadband speed test

I first got quite excited about the competition to win Google’s investment to wire up a small city. I was however too distracted to do anything about it and have subsequently ignored a couple requests to join the Duluth facebook group to woo Goo.

I often get irritated when streaming media at sites like youtube stops in its tracks to buffer. Surely what I pay my broadband provider should be fast enough so that this doesn’t happen.

It turns out to be very easy to test your download and upload speeds as the Federal Government is attempting to make sure a nationwide network is put in place permitting 100 Megabits to be downloaded every second. Go to: www.broadband.gov and test your computer’s connections.

Just click the test by the stopwatch image. It took me less than a minute.

My download speed was 15723 kilobytes in one test and 11290 in another. In Megabytes that would round out to 15.7 and 11.3. I tried to find out how fast my provider, Charter.com, said their cable service would work but couldn’t find any speed promises for home computers on their site. However, my download speed was comparable to what they offered in a small business package at 8M per second. Mine best actual speed was almost twice that fast.

Google’s competition would award speeds that would smash these download speeds to smithereens at 1 gigabit per second. The Federal Government is shooting for speeds roughly ten times faster than I got on my slowest test today.

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