Government sets up online speed trap

The FCC has added an information rest stop where broadband information superhighway users can get off and check how fast they've been traveling and whether they perhaps need a service provider tune-up.

The broadband.gov Web site now contains new features called the Consumer Broadband Test and the Broadband Dead Zone Report--no bias there, it tells it like it is--designed to "arm consumers with real-time information about their broadband connection," according to Commission Chair Julius Genachowski.

Unlike most speed traps, this one is not designed to catch fast movers; its purpose is to find slow traffic and report back on where and when it's happening. The test measures speed and latency and, besides telling consumers it also reports back to the FCC which plans to offer even more testing tools in the future.

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