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New America Foundation, Google Present International Broadband Map

in Broadband Data/Broadband Mapping/FCC/International/NTIA by

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 - The New America Foundation and Google gathered government officials Wednesday to  present an overview of the organizations' website that gathers, compiles and maps international broadband connection speed data.

The site, Measurement Lab, provides the broadband data for researchers. The site is a collaborative venture between Google, the New America Foundation and the academic consortium PlanetLab.

Users provide the site with data on the speed, latency and throughput of their Internet connections. Currently the site collects 1.3 million pieces of data daily. Since the site launched in 2009 it has collected over 300 terabytes of data - that amount of data would fill more than forty-three thousand dvds.

The map presents data from the national level down to cities, making it one of the most detailed and expansive data sets available.

National Broadband Mapping Program Director, Anne Neville, said that she hopes that someone will “mash up,” or combine, the data collected by Measurement Lab with the national broadband map.

“Our goal is just to collect the data and allow researchers to analyze it and find value,” said Vinton G. Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist.

Sascha Meinrath, Director of New America’s Open Technology Initiative went on to say that the site presents data in an open format to allow researchers to conduct deep analysis.

Cerf acknowledged that the dataset is not complete, but the organization is continuously working with new partners to expand data collection and improve accuracy.

Michael Byrne, Geographic Information Officer at the Federal Communications Commission called the site “fantastic” saying, “this data will allow us to look beyond simple speeds and create great comparisons.”

Taylor Reynolds, Specialist Analyst at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), also praised the level of detail the map presents.

“At the OECD we are able to look at the overall picture which makes conducting deep analysis difficult,” Reynolds said. “This new highly detailed data set will let us see how broadband directly effects education, health care and other sectors.”

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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