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Updated: Several people have emailed and commented asking about the high broadband prices calculated for North Carolina, and Bandwidth.com has now written a blog post explaining where it got those numbers. Basically the high results are because the test took both upload and download speeds into consideration and apparently North Carolinians pay more than others but also have much slower upload speeds according to Bandwidth.com.
The folks at Bandwidth.com, which offers wholesale voice services to many application providers, launched a website Monday with a broadband map that will offer people insights about the quality of service, the speeds of service and the price others have paid for broadband available in their area. The map borrows from the National Broadband Map — launched last month by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration — in the form of an API call that takes some of the data shown on the federally funded map, but it also adds true crowdsourcing and machine learning to deliver a greater variety of information.
David Morken, the CEO of Bandwidth.com, says his map, found at broadband.com, uses information pulled from a variety of other broadband services in addition to the broadband map. For example, it uses data from Ookla as well as information carriers provide to Bandwidth.com in order to sell their services to the small and medium-sized businesses. Generally, carriers have been reluctant to deliver the level of detail in their mapping data that Bandwidth.com will deliver, but Morken is confident carriers will see the benefits form greater transparency through greater sales. He added that having a level of accountability that high-quality data will provide is a benefit as consolidation continues across the wireline and wireless industry.
I tend to agree, which is why I will be excited to play with the broadband.com map to see what it has today and what subsequent visits will provide. Because every person that visits can offer their speed test data as well as information about their connection quality and speeds, the quality of the data is far more diverse than what’s offered today on the National Broadband Map. The data at the broadband.com map will also be updated in real-time, as opposed to every six months for the NTIA’s map.