Internet Speed: Are you getting what you are paying for?

With Internet costs rising and broadband speed increasingly important for day-to-day business operations, more people – including the government – are questioning whether consumers are receiving the broadband speeds they are paying for. Sinu can do something to help you negotiate faster Internet speeds now. If your business has had the same Internet contract for years, you may be paying too much for too little speed. Send Sinu your Internet Service Provider (ISP) invoices and we’ll see if we can negotiate faster connectivity for the same or less than you are paying for today. This is a free service to Sinu customers. 

The question of getting the advertised Internet speeds you are paying for is getting national attention. After several complaints, the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, started a probe into Internet speeds delivered by top providers in the state. According to a report by Bloomberg, letters were sent last October to top Internet service providers (ISPs) from the AG’s new senior enforcement counsel, Tim Wu. Wu, a prominent open-Internet policy advocate known for coining the term “net neutrality," warned the ISP companies that actual performance of broadband service “may deviate far enough from the speeds advertised to render the advertising deceptive.” The letters were based on consumer complaints, the AG's own analysis and a report by M-Lab, a group that tracks Internet data. 

While we are all aware that the Internet speed can slow down during peak usage times, M-lab reports that the real problem lies with the "interconnection points" where an ISP (your broadband company) meets what's known as a transit ISP, a company that usually operates in the background carrying content (such as Netflix) to ISPs.

The Federal Communications Commission oversees the Internet and is looking into advertised broadband speeds by ISPs. The FCC's Open Internet rules, which took effect last June, strive to provide "consumers and businesses access to a fast, fair, and open Internet," however they don't definitively address interconnections between ISPs and transit providers. 

So how can you test your real Internet speed? There are several free tools available. The AG’s office is encouraging New Yorkers to test their own broadband speed at home using Internethealthtest.org and submit the test results to help determine Internet speed accuracy. If you’re not in New York, or if you just want to check your Internet speed without participating the AG’s study, the New York Times lists several free tools and many factors that might affect broadband speeds. Some of the tools include Ookla Speedtest.netSpeedtest.netMegaPath SpeakEasy Speed Test and Bandwidth Place.

Check with your Relationship Manager for more information about renegotiating with your ISP, and other ways, such as installing a super fast Cisco Meraki wireless device, to ensure your Internet speed keeps pace with the demands of your employees.