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article imageNY AG's office turns to public to investigate ISP speeds

By Megan Hamilton     Dec 14, 2015 in Internet
New York - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is conducting a probe into whether Internet providers may be gouging customers with speeds lower than advertised.
He has invited the public to test their Internet speeds and post the results online.
The probe, launched in October, involves Verizon Communications, Cablevision Systems Corp., and Time-Warner Cable Inc., VB reports.
Schneiderman's office fired off letters to the companies asking for information, especially copies of any tests the company had conducted on Internet speeds, along with copies of any disclosures they made to their customers.
So in an announcement on Sunday, the attorney general's office specified plans to crowd source Internet speed testing from members of the public, asking them to visit the website "Internethealthest.org," which is designed to test their Internet's performance, Time Everyday Money reports. Once they take the test, consumers are instructed to snap a screenshot and submit the information.
"New Yorkers should get the Internet speeds they pay for," Schneiderman said in a statement. "By conducting these tests, consumers can uncover whether they are receiving the Internet speeds they have paid for."
TNW notes that the results of the test will give Schneiderman the chance to see if the providers are being up front.
The investigation took flight when letters dated Oct. 23 were sent to the companies in question, BloombergBusiness reports. Tim Wu, Schneiderman's newly-hired senior enforcement counsel told the providers he was "specifically concerned about the disruptions to the consumer experience caused by interconnection disputes." This can occur when one company's service slides through the wires of another company or other types of infrastructure. Wu is credited with coining the now infamous phrase "net neutrality."
Each of the companies involved have expressed confidence in their Internet speeds and said they will work with the attorney general's office to provide the requested information and will assist in the investigation, VB reports.
So how does the test work?
It's pretty simple. Once you go to the third-party InternetHealthTest.org site, you just click "Start Test," Consumerist reports.
The test even allowed me to see how lousy my Internet is in Costa Rica.  Not (ahem) Bogota.
The test even allowed me to see how lousy my Internet is in Costa Rica. Not (ahem) Bogota.
Internet Health Test
Then the site goes to work, measuring "throughput" Internet speeds (the speeds at which customers reach Internet content) to numerous points online. It takes a few minutes to process, but if you do this, you'll have at least some idea what your connection speed is.
Once you're done, you can take a screenshot and send it to the attorney general's office, Consumerist notes.
More about ny attorney general, crowdsource internet speed, isp speeds, Eric Schneiderman, Probe
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