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.