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M-Lab Introduces Next Version of Speed Test, Energy Standards Exceeded, Big Broadband Growth Last Quarter

Jericho Casper

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Photo of ICFP fellow Simone Basso of M-Lab by New America used with permission

M-Lab, which provides the largest collection of open Internet performance data on the web, recently introduced the new ndt7 protocol for the Network Diagnostic Tool, a performance measurement of a connection’s capacity for transports.

Since 2009, the network diagnostic tool has been the premier performance measurement service test hosted by M-Lab.

M-Lab has been working with researcher Simone Basso to develop the ndt7 protocols, since late 2018.

The ndt7 protocol measures the application-level download or upload performance, answering the question of how fast one could pull or push data from their device to a well-provisioned web server by means of commonly-used web technologies.

Instead of reporting a measurement of your last mile speed, it is a measurement of what performance is possible with your device, your current internet connection, and the characteristics of your ISP.

Because of the simplicity of the ndt7 protocol, ndt7 will be the preferred protocol for new integrations.

Energy efficient standards met by small network equipment manufacturers

Nearly 100 percent of new modems, routers and other internet equipment purchased and sold last year to U.S. residential broadband subscribers met the energy-efficiency standards of the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Small Network Equipment, according to a recent report.

The agreement, led by CableLabs, the Consumer Technology Association and the Internet and Television Association, includes all major U.S. broadband internet service providers and manufacturers of small network equipment.

According to a new report by D+R International, 99.8 percent of new home internet devices met the agreement’s “Tier 1” energy standards in 2019.

Further, 98.9 percent of new devices in 2019 already met the more rigorous “Tier 2” energy levels, a year ahead of the scheduled 2020 effective date.

The average energy use of small network equipment relative to average broadband speed has decreased by 66 percent since the agreement was ratified in 2015.

Leichtman Research Group report finds extensive broadband growth in second quarter

Broadband additions in in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 were the most in any quarter since the first quarter of 2012, according to a report produced by Leichtman Research Group.

The group found that the largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S., which represent approximately 96 percent of the market, acquired about 1,245,000 additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2Q 2020.

This compares to a gain of approximately 375,000 subscribers during the same period in the previous fiscal year, 2Q 2019.

“With the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in 2Q 2020 than in any quarter in eight years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.

“In the first half of 2020, there were over 2.4 million net broadband additions.  This is the most net adds in the first half of any year since 2008,” he said.

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