New FCC Campaign: Test My ISP

Hey all, I found a news article today about the FCC's "Test My ISP" campaign to get a very detailed view of what broadband speeds/latencies/jitters/dropouts/etc that users across America are getting. They'll use this information to set new requirements for ISPs, both in marketing (advertising speeds as "UP TO") and in products (so far as I know).

Basically, sign up, and if you are one of the 10,000 chosen, they will ship you a "White Box" router (they said the term "Black Box" was already taken by the airlines lol) designed by a company called SamKnows and actually made by NetGear. This will NOT monitor your traffic or collect ANY data that you transfer! You plug this into your modem like you would any other router/switch, and then plug your actual router/switch into it.

It will test your speed/latency/jitter several times a day over the test period (one year) and report back the findings. Even this basic data is encrypted, and the only person that has access to your data (besides the FCC, of course) is you.

Plus, if I read it right, the router they ship is an actual functioning wireless router (or they give you a different one that isn't for the testing purposes), so it's really a win-win.

I encourage all users to at least sign up. What's the worst that could happen, get a free router? :)
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  1. Seems interesting... though they aren't clear what they do about inbound connections if you're say hosting a web server.
  2. They don't interfere with any network traffic, and only conduct testing if all network traffic amounts to less than 200KB/s.
  3. Yeah, I can only assume that they're NAT'ing my public IP and giving my router a private... otherwise they'd be spoofing my public in a transparent / layer 2 type of mode and I'm not so sure how well that'd work.
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