New York Launches Probe into Broadband Internet Speeds

| News

If you live in New York and think you're broadband Internet connection isn't as fast as it should be, the state wants to know. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is asking state residents to test their broadband connection and share the data as part of an investigation into whether or not Internet service providers are giving customers the data speeds they advertise.

New York wants to know if your broadband is too slowNew York wants to know if your broadband is too slow

The state is using a broadband performance test website, according to Reuters, that lets users check their Internet speed. Mr. Schneiderman wants users to snap a screenshot of the test results and complete an online for so he can use the data as part of the state's investigation.

The request comes as part of an investigation into questions about the actual broadband performance Verizon, Cablevision, and Time Warner are giving customers as compared to their advertised speeds. Part of the investigation is focusing on the interconnection deals that let user's data pass unhindered between different service providers.

All of the ISPs claim they give customers their advertised broadband speeds, although Mr. Schneiderman is questioning whether or not that's true.

"New Yorkers should get the Internet speeds they pay for," he said. "Too many of us may be paying for one thing, and getting another."

Short changing customers on broadband speeds would be a bad business decision for ISPs, but it seems enough people feel they're getting connections that are below what they're paying for to warrant an investigation. Collecting data from actual users, the theory goes, will help the state figure out if customers really are getting what they pay for.

Assuming New York's Attorney General determines ISPs are living up to their end of the bargain, it shows there's another deep-seated issue: consumers don't trust their broadband service providers. Regardless of how fast data connections may be, that's an issue ISPs are going to have a hard time overcoming.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Here's how little consumers trust ISPs to provide advertised broadband speeds: New York had to launch an investigation. That's pretty bad.


Paul Goodwin

I wonder what speed test they’re using. Very few of the Flash-based speed test sites give you anything resembling a realistic speed. Plus a test to a nearby server won’t tell you much about your real internet speeds.


True. Many of the ISPs have adopted the VW approach - let it run fast going to a speed-test server. Slow it down for everything else.

Paul Goodwin

HAHA vpndev on the VW approach.

Paul Goodwin

The best measuring site I’ve found is It’s non-Flash based. Gives real-world results.


I’m on TWC Rochester and test the connection speed frequently with the Net Analyzer app. Nine out of 10 times I get 10% better than advertised. The other 1/10 is when Netflix stumbles and I’ll usually find that things are a bit slow, but not unusable. Not sure how they select the servers for this testing.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account