Americans flock to new broadband speed test

Part of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski’s announcement of the National Broadband Plan was the unveiling of a website that allows Americans to test their broadband speed. In the first few days of the speed test’s availability, more than 150,000 people have taken part. As of March 17, Washington, Oregon and California boasted the fastest and most reliable speeds while Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming report the slowest. Very few states ranked in top the tier of the speed results between 11.6 to 13.3 Mbps, while most ranged from 7.9 to 10.0, according to Arts Technica. The test is not fully developed yet, but the government plans to use the mastered version of the program to eliminate dead zones in the U.S. “The FCC can hope to get a much clearer picture about the broadband speeds once the test tool comes out of beta; thereby indicating the potential to report the virtual dead zones that totally lack broadband service,” according to Amandeep Dhalwal, a writer for TopNews. According to Arts Technica, the FCC will use the information collected through the broadband testing page to make informed decisions on policy regarding web access and regulation.

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