Monday, December 30, 2013

T-Mobile and AT&T also Expand Service

Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Netbook 86 100 161
Phone 169 120 277
Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Netbook 71 73 154
Phone 101 175 267
Along with Sprint and Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T have also made improvements in the Fourth Round by adding the number of locations served by at least 6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up. While T-Mobile experienced a hiccup downward in the Third Round for the locations their phone serves, AT&T has made steady progress. While T-Mobile has slightly more locations served than AT&T, AT&T has higher average speeds. This is likely due to the fact T-Mobile's coverage is more limited and concentrated while AT&T's is more spread out and diffuse. AT&T's higher average speed may also be explained by the fact that the maximum speed registered by AT&T LTE, 44.000 Mbps, is much higher than that reached by T-Mobile LTE at 33,000 Mbps. AT&T also has many locations where they just missed making the served threshold.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Verizon Phone Expands Network

In the third round of our state wide mobile broadband testing, the big story was the Verizon netbook which provided served speeds at 599 locations out of 1,200, a huge increase from the previous round. While the netbook expanded coverage to 640 locations in the fourth round, the big fourth round story is the improvement made by the Verizon phone which expanded from 392 locations to 592 locations. The Verizon phone's performance is catching up with their netbook performance.

Served Locations out of 1,200

Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Netbook 382 599 640
Phone 281 392 592

Sprint LTE is in Effect

The results of our fourth round of mobile testing are in and one of the biggest changes is Sprint coverage and speed in California. While in the third round, the Sprint netbook provided served speeds, 1.5 mpbs up and 6 down, in two locations out of 1,200 tested, in the fourth round the netbook provided served speeds in 67 out of 1,200 locations or more than five percent. While in the third round the Sprint phone provided served speeds in 5 out of 1,200 locations tested, in the fourth round the Sprint phone measured served speeds in 103 locations, which is almost ten percent.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

4th Round Field Testing Completed!

Our intrepid drive test team rose to the challenge of testing 790 additional locations across California, and all before Winter break. Results from the 1,990 test locations will be available by mid to late January, but we are happy to have observed first-hand large improvements in both Sprint and T-Mobile, as well as continued improvements in AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless speeds and latency.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Cold Out There

Our mobile testers are finishing up their work this week. They will be done by Christmas where they will sit by the roaring fire regaling friends and family with tales of their mobile testing adventures.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tips on Public Feedback Survey

If you haven't heard that we are collecting information from you, the public, on your broadband service (or lack thereof), visit our web site, download the form, and send it in to us. Alternatively, you can fill out the survey online with the Interactive Map after using the address lookup tool.

Link to CPUC web site to download the survey

Link to the California Interactive Broadband Map

Here are some tips when filling out the survey.

1. It helps us if you claim to not have any broadband service that you first check the Interactive Map for your address and contact the providers listed for your address. Here is an example of where this did not happen. Notice there is no "current provider" listed.

2. Here is a list of providers who claim to serve this address. If we know that the resident was denied service because it wasn't available, then we have a strong case to counter a provider's claim of availability.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

April 2013 Field Test Result Findings Now Available

Without further delay, we finally published our findings from the April 2013 field test. The paper is called "Measuring Mobile Broadband in California, Round 3 Mobile Field Test Results, April 2013." Here is the link:

Mobile Field Testing Report - April 2013

T-Mobile Beats Verizon!

Mobile tester David Hugens experienced something unusual conducting his rounds. Mobile broadband behemoth was briefly dethroned by the plucky upstart T-Mobile. This test was conducted in the hills ten miles south of Antioch.

Monday, December 9, 2013

California - an LTE state of mind

Sure, both Verizon and AT&T have been operating LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks for over a year already, but now we've been able to capture LTE speeds on the remaining two major mobile carriers -- Sprint and T-Mobile. See table below with the fastest clocked upstream and downstream TCP speeds in this round of testing so far.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Latest Version of CalSPEED Now Available at Google Play

Our latest version of CalSPEED includes a provider address look-up function. Along with being able to test mobile speeds and keep a record of your results, this version includes a mobile viewer, with which you can click a point on the map and find which broadband providers offer service at your address for all types of technologies. Each time you use CalSPEED to conduct a speed test, the data from your test feeds into the state Interactive Broadband Map ( As of the end of September, intrepid citizens have conducted over 2,000 tests on this app and we would like to increase that number because it will increase the accuracy of our broadband validation efforts.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CalSPEED Around the World

Folks all over the world are testing their mobile broadband speeds with CalSPEED our mobile app for android phones that can be downloaded to your phone at Google Play. We have had 2,400 tests so far and we prefer folks conduct their tests in California, do it outside and not use CalSPEED to test their wifi. Be part of the CalSPEED glamour and excitement, it has international cache, download the app to your android and start testing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trying to Finish Fourth Round by Chistmas

We are almost done with the fourth Round of mobile field testing. We have completed 82 percent of our scheduled tests at 1,990 locations. Our fourth Round has been particularly ambitious because we added 790 locations. With the increased testing, the fourth Round results promise to be more statistically significant than previous rounds.

So far, we have seen some improvements in all of the providers' peformances. Sprint started strong but for the past few weeks has slowed a bit. T-Mobile has also experienced some rough patches with slow speeds, while Verizon has continued to improve their network by generating high mobile broadband speeds in some surprisingly remote locations. 

Here is to more fuel to finish the job.

Friday, November 22, 2013

iPhone Mobile Broadband App Now Available

We have some exciting news for iPhone users. Our iPhone app, CalBroadband, is now available on the iPhone app store. Download it today. By using this app, you can locate broadband providers in your community, for fixed service, mobile service and satellite. You can also compare and contrast cell phone provider speed claims with CPUC estimates of cell phone speeds. CalBroadband has two choices for accessing broadband data.

First, you can just pin a point on the map to access our data or you can enter in a street address. The app's map also tracks your current location, which you can also click on to look up broadband service.

Unlike our android speed test app, this iPhone app does not conduct broadband speed tests. We are hoping to release an iPhone app that does this test some time next year.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Glamour of Mobile Broadband Testing

With all the striking California scenery, Tester Chris Perry insists the life of the mobile tester is a glamorous one.

Tester Hugens Attempts an Energy Boost

What are the secrets of David Hugens' mobile testing prowess?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tester Steven Crews Rushes to his Next Test Point in Santa Ynez

In an effort to hit that next test point, 2094, Steven Crews blew quickly through some iconic California scenery. And what sorts of speeds did he find there? Verizon netbook delivered 7 Mbps upstream and 16 Mbps downstream. The Verizon phone measured 4 Mbps upstream and 14 Mbps downstream. The other providers were not even close.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Speed Tester David Hugens Lays Down the Gauntlet

Hugens crows about his testing prowess and so far, he has walked the talk leading the pack in locations tested.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dairy, Dairy, Everywhere

Tester Dan Lucero indicates an important broadband policy making objective has been reached.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Off Road Enthusiasts Question Tester Stephen Crews' Sanity

A group of Off-Highway Vehicle enthusiasts debate whether to call the mental institute on moble tester Stephen Crews for driving a Chevy Malibu down this road, Point 2153 near the Colorado River: 

Nothing gets in the way of our intrepid mobile broadband testers. The courageous Crews would not be from deterred from his call of duty. What kind of speeds did Crews find at this location? Not a quality road but plenty of quality broadband. Once again the Verizon phone was off the charts at 33 Mbps down and 8 Mbps up. The Verizon netbook managed 14 Mbps down and 11 up. The other providers were nowhere close. The AT&T phone clocked in at 1.2 Mbps down and .2 up and their netbook managed .9 down and .4 up. Sprint and T-Mobile speeds went from extremely low to nonexistent.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A short stretch of Tester Steven Crews' long drive through the desert

This video features CPUC's own mobile tester Steve Crews driving on Lanfair Road between the town of Goffs and... absolutely nothing? It was the road to nowhere. Well, technically for our purposes it was between Points 2117 and 2040. And what speed of broadband can we find at these locations? At point 2117, the Verizon netbook averaged 13 Mbps downstream. The other providers were not even close. At point 2040, the Verizon phone averaged 14 Mbps downstream and was far and away the fastest provider.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do Solar Power Projects Get Fast Broadband?

Here is a photo from mobile tester Dan Lucero at site 2173 in the Mojave Desert. What kind of speeds did he get at this location? It turns out this solar power installation is not a haven for mobile broadband. It must have been difficult for the workers, who constructed it and  maintain it, to check their e-mail, surf the web and stream video. Only two providers managed to get any speeds at all and both of them on only one of their devices. The Verizon netbook managed 1.9 Mbps up and 2.3 down. The Verizon phone got no service at all. The AT&T phone  tested .3 Mbps up and 1.7 Mbps down. The AT&T netbook had no service and neither did the other providers we are testing, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Video Streaming in Uninhabited Desert

When asked if he saw anything interesting in his mobile testing travels, California Mobile Broadband tester Steven Crews had this to say about point number 2157.

“ If by interesting you meant completely desolate and devoid of all life except for creosote bushes, man, have I got the shot for you. Site 2157, near Cadiz in the Mojave Desert.”

Believe it or not, Verizon delivers fast mobile broadband at this location. This very fast speed is suitable for streaming video or any other broadband activity. Their moble broadband speed is well above served speeds at 26 Mbps downstream. The other providers were either extremely low, AT&T, or no service at all, T-Mobile and Sprint.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fourth Round of Mobile Testing Begins Today

The California Public Utilities Commission's Fourth Round of mobile testing begins today. Along with the same 1,200 points we have tested in the first three rounds, we are adding 790 additional test points in urban areas and in problem areas where local citizens are challenging mobile broadband speeds on the California Interactive Broadband Map. In the last round, Verizon made huge strides in rural and tribal areas bringing broadband service of six Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up to many areas of the state that were previously unserved. Will Verizon continue to make strides and continue to dominate mobile broadband service? Will the other providers, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile make improvements to their network? Stay Tuned as Chapter Four of the California Mobile Broadband Speed Test unfolds.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Version of CalSPEED will include Mobile Viewer

The next version of CalSPEED, our mobile app that tests mobile broadband speeds, will include an address look-up mapping function. Along with testing mobile speeds and keeping a record of your results, the latest version of CalSPEED, Version 1.2, will include a mobile viewer, with which you can click on a California map and look up available broadband provider speeds, both fixed and mobile or enter you address and get a listing of fixed and mobile broadband speeds. Each time you use CalSPEED to conduct a speed test, the data from your test goes to feed our state Interactive Broadband Map's CalSPEED layer. As of the end of September, intrepid citizens have conducted over 2,000 tests on this app and we would like to increase that number. This new version will be available on Google Play for android phones in the next couple weeks. A mobile viewer for iPhone, without CalSPEED, should be available from Apple next month.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fourth Round of Mobile Testing to Begin Next Month

This latest round of mobile testing will include more testing points and all of it will be conducted with the latest LTE equipment. Our plan is to start testing by the third week of October to beat the snows at higher elevations. With more testing and better equipment, the fourth round of mobile testing promises to be the most accurate round yet. How will the four providers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint match up? Will Verizon continue to rapidly expand their mobile broadband network? Stay tuned and find out.
Our intrepid testers gauge the far reaches of mobile broadband.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Version 2.1 of the California Broadband Map is now being released

This is an update regarding California broadband mapping. Our new version of the Interactive Broadband Map, 2.1, is now being released at this web address:

Here are some of the highlighted improvements:

We have a new Public Feedback Layer which will be fed by the survey results of map users reporting service or no service.

The CalSpeed Average Downstream layer, which will be generated by citizens using our free app measuring mobile broadband speeds, which is available for android phones. Data from the app will be crowdsourced to the Broadband Map through the use of this layer.

Tired of looking at the numbers from rounds 1 and 2? Results from the third round of mobile testing will be added to the map. Those results show Verizon making some big gains.

There are no more "Getting Started" splash screens, which will mean less extraneous screens for users to click through and also no default downstream availability layers that users will have to click off when the begin playing with the map. All users will begin with a blank map and they will figure out what layers they want to show. Here is the map in action showing fixed broadband providers near Colusa, Ca.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Third Round Results Show Verizon making Huge Strides

We are putting the finishing touches on our mobile white paper, "Measuring Mobile Broadband in California," and are finding that Verizon is making huge strides in covering the state in mobile broadband. As of April, when we last conducted broadband tests, we found Verizon making huge improvements, particularly in rural and tribal areas. Our statistical analysis suggests that Verizon may have covered 90 percent of the state's population in mobile broadband at served speeds of least 6 Mb/s downstream and 1.5 Mb/s upstream. What will happen when our testers return to California backroads this October for a fourth round of tests? We are looking forward to seeing the results.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Next California Broadband Council meeting is August 12

The next meeting of the California Broadband Council will be in Sacramento on August 12. The Council will be discussing recycling computers, installing wireless equipment on public buildings, and enhancing computer literacy and broadband adoption.

Monday, August 12, 2013
1:00-3:00 pm
Legislative Office Building (“LOB”)
1020 N  Street, Room 100

Thursday, July 11, 2013

3rd Round (Spring 2013) Mobile Field Test Results Now Available

We just published the results from the Spring 2013 mobile field testing, done in April this year. Go to the CPUC web site to download the Excel spreadsheet.

Here's the link:


Mobile Broadband Drive-Test Project

Beginning May 2012 and every six months through 2014, the CPUC 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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Over 1,500 tests performed and 4 new overseas locations added!

Yesterday marked the 1,500th test performed on CalSPEED. We were happy also to see four new overseas locations where testing is being done. They are Bankok, Thailand, Mallorca, Spain, Newcastle, U.K., and Pradesh, India.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

CalSPEED now on CTA's mobile gallery

CalSPEED is now listed on the mobile gallery of the California Technology Agency. Visit, or go to Google Play and search for "CalSPEED."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sneak Peek of the iPhone mobile broadband viewer app

We have received lots of feedback about the usability (or lack thereof) of our California Interactive Broadband Map. In an effort to make broadband information more user-friendly and easier to see, we are developing a simplified user interface. The first release of this simplified user interface is planned for the iPhone. Later releases will include Android and standard PC/Mac internet browswers.

Here is a sneak peek at a beta version of the mobile viewer app on iPhone:

1. Select a location by tapping it on the map.

2. Results for providers at that location appear in bar format.

Monday, June 3, 2013

CalSPEED Rel 1.1 Preview

Here is a preview of the enhancements to CalSPEED. We plan to have the new release available near middle to end of June.

Click "Results" at the bottom right

History of previous tests appears
Select one of the test results and see the details.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CalSpeed's new version to Include Improvements

For citizens interested in getting personally involved with our mobile testing program, there is always the option of downloading our mobile app, CalSpeed, in which any data you complile will be crowdsourced to our Interactive Map. Of special note, at the end of the month there will be a new version of CalSpeed that will include a testing history, so you can keep a record of all your tests, and it will provide GPS coordinates so we can track the crowdsource testing better geographically for the Map. Our designers at California State Monterey Bay are hard at work. CalSpeed is a top of the line mobile broadband speed app and what's more, it is free and available for download at Google Play. download on the Google Play store.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why are we Conducting these Mobile Tests?

Some folks out there might be asking, why are we doing all this mobile testing? We are doing this testing because there is marked difference between what providers are claiming about broadband speed and coverage and what our mobile testers are finding in the field. Below is a map that shows difference between what a provider is claiming and what we are finding regarding speed and coverage.

In the purple and red map below, we see purple areas in which we were unable to validate the claimed speeds of AT&T mobility. The red areas show where we unable validate the claimed coverage of AT&T mobility.

Add caption

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Check Out our Mobile Testing Map

Are you interested in finding out more about the 1,200 points we just completed testing for mobile  broadband speeds? Here is a map which shows how much we have blanketing the state with our tests. Over the next few months we will going over the data from our third round of testing and will try to identify trends in mobile broadband among the four major providers, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. Stay tuned and find out which providers are making improvements and which are not.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jeff Tan's Lonely Road and the End of Mobile Testing

We are officially finished with the third round of mobile testing. Here tester Jeff Tan documents a particularly isolated stretch of California between the city of Fresno and Interstate 5.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We are Almost Done

We have tested in 1036 of our targeted 1,200 locations. Testing will likely conclude at the end of the day tomorrow.  Our persistent testers have braved some isolated yet beautiful locations in their efforts to document mobile broadband's reach.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lovely Images from our Mobile Testers

We are officially half way done with our mobile testing, yesterday we finished testing at 615 of our 1,200 testing locations statewide. Here is a sample of images from our intrepid mobile tester photographers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tester Tyler Boyle Takes us Deep into the Woods

The second week of mobile testing around the state continues and mobile tester Tyler Boyle takes us deep into the woods near Mount Shasta. Is broadband available in such an isolated location? Watch our video and check it out broadband's impressive reach.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mobile Testing begins

CPUC's third round of mobile broadband testing began this week. Here is tester Jeff Tan reporting from the streets of Fairfield. Over the next few weeks, eight mobile testers will be testing at 1,200 points across the state.

Friday, April 5, 2013

CalSPEED is now available on Google Play

The crowd source version of our industry-grade mobile speed test app for Android phones is now available for download on the Google Play store.

Friday, February 22, 2013