Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Race to Land's End

As we wind up the final week of testing, some of the testers are finding themselves at beautiful locations along the long California coastline. Watch this short video from Annette, who is in Encinitas.

And below, a photo from David, who is further up the coast.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In the home stretch

As of last Friday, we've completed tests at 1,051 sites (88%). One week left of testing!

Mobile Now Generates 20% U.S. Web Traffic

According to a report by online advertising network Chitika, smartphones account for 14.6% and tablets 5.6% of total web traffic in the U.S. and Canada. And while we're on the topic of mobile broadband, here are some other interesting tidbits from Cisco's Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011-2016:
  • Last year's mobile data traffic was eight times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. Global mobile data traffic in 2011 (597 petabytes per month) was over eight times greater than the total global Internet traffic in 2000 (75 petabytes per month).
  • Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2011. Mobile video traffic was 52 percent of traffic by the end of 2011.
  • Mobile network connection speeds grew 66 percent in 2011. Globally, the average mobile network downstream speed in 2011 was 315 kilobits per second (kbps), up from 189 kbps in 2010. The average mobile network connection speed for smartphones in 2011 was 1344 kbps, up from 968 kbps in 2010.
This underscores the importance of validating and improving mobile broadband access across the state.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

update from Chris

This one is a few days old, but we just got it in today:

Life on the Road and How To Get The Best Hotel Deals

We haven't heard from David for a while, so I thought I'd post his latest update here. You can also find this and his earlier posts on his page link to the right.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

videos from Annette

Anza Borrego and further South where the California desert borders Mexico. Here, the serpent has made its home.

Below, the Mexican border

Monday, May 21, 2012

Training on the drive testing apps

Here are a few pics I took during training in Chico several weeks before the testing began.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What they're testing, what we're collecting

Photo courtesy of David, who is somewhere near Fresno by now. Four phones and four data cards. And lots of broadband availability data.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Desert Life

It's mid-May, and it's blazing hot out there. How hot is it? Chris reported 110 degress Farenheit. Annette is sending us desert pics as well. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Finals Week. AAARGH!

It's finals week for some of our testers, and we miss them already. Good luck on your exams!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inching up to our goal

36% of the sites have been tested as of Monday. Keep up the good work!

More Video Updates from Chris and David

Check out Chris and David's pages (links to the right of this). Chris reports the temperature where he is testing was 110F yesterday and 100F today.

Meanwhile, David has been to the Lost Coast, Table Bluff Indian Reservation, and the College of the Redwoods. He reports he's on his 28th episode of "This American Life."

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Variety of Landscapes That Is California

Featuring photos from Annette, Jeff, Tyler, and David


End of the Road - Snow in May ??

Here, Tyler came to the point where safety trumps the best laid plans. The testing spot was further up road, but his car wasn't about to become an off-road vehicle, (and we don't want to lose any testers in the field!), so the mobile test happened right there.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New! Links to Video Logs from David & Chris

Check out the "pages" links to the right of this posting to see video updates from David and Chris. David just posted on Friday that he has downloaded all the episodes of "This American Life" since 2009 and has been listening to them non-stop. So far, he's heard 25 hours of "This American Life" and apparently is going to keep going as he begins Week 2 of mobile broadband drive testing. Once David is finished with his remaining points in the northern ends of the state, he'll be heading to the Bay Area.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Week 1: A Success!

Here are some key stats from the first week of mobile field testing. Truly a gargantuan undertaking by our amazing crew!

As of Thursday night (May 10):
  • Over 24,000 tests performed
  • Nearly 300 locations across the state (25% complete)
  • 113 photos taken
  • 2 videos (additional videos by David available on his Tumblr account)
  • Thousands of miles driven
We are thrilled to see all the progress so far. The team has done an amazing job. Keep up the excellent work!

A few pictures I wanted to highlight.

How's that for serenity?

Pictures coming in now from Joe. Looks desolate!

Meanwhile, over on the coast it's easy living....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Video from Chris

We've got eight testers covering the state right now. This video just in from Chris, who is in the Central Valley.

Photos coming in from all over the state

Yesterday and today we've been getting amazing pictures from the far reaches of the state courtesy of our intrepid team of mobile broadband testers. I'm putting all of the photos up on Flickr so the full scope of terrain and conditions can be seen. We also are starting to get videos from the field. Today we are featuring a video from David as he finished up his second day of testing. (click previous text to go to his Tumblr blog)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First images from the field!

This week kicks off the ARRA grant-funded drive testing project being performed by the CPUC's Video Franchising/Broadband Deployment group.  Every six months through 2014, we will be sending teams to drive around the state and measure the actual mobile broadband service of the big four providers, both with smartphones and laptop data cards.  We’re testing at the same designated 1200 points for each test.  These results will help determine the areas of the state that are un-served or under-served by broadband service, and thus eligible for CASF and various federal broadband infrastructure grants and subsidies. Our results will also demonstrate the extent to which mobile broadband service is a substitute for wired service.  

The following will give you an idea of the scope and nature of the project. This map shows progress on day 1, which was Monday.  We expect each round of tests to take as long as a month to complete.  Analysis of the results could take an additional month.

As the photos taken just before noon today show, we’re indeed capturing mobile service statistics in some pretty rural areas!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Drive Testing To Begin On May 7

In what is a first for California, we're excited to kick off our mobile broadband drive testing campaign across the state. We will be testing internet speeds (TCP upload and download), latency, and jitter & packet loss (on UDP), traffic shaping. And, unlike many mobile speed tests, we will be examining performance differences between backhaul servers on East vs. West coasts.

We have over a thousand locations where we plan to test both mobile phone and data card performance for the four major carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. We'll keep you posted on our progress as we embark on this adventure across California!