About the Project
Thank you for your interest in the CalSPEED Home Testing project. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC); the Geographical Information Center (GIC) at California State University, Chico; and CSU, Monterey Bay today announced that they are seeking 500 volunteers to take part in the CPUC Home Internet Study, CalSPEED Home. Many consumers of broadband Internet service wonder whether they are getting the quality of service for which they are paying. California is the first state to undertake its own Internet testing to help answer this question.
Why the Project is Important
Many consumers of broadband Internet service wonder whether they are getting the quality of service for which they are paying. California is the first state to undertake its own Internet testing to help answer this question. The CPUC will use data gathered from CalSPEED Home to provide critical information to state policymakers dealing with broadband issues such as universal service and the Digital Divide, in addition to providing money saving information to consumers.
- Through speed testing, customers will know if their internet speed problems are due to the service delivered by their Internet Service Provider, or actually a problem with their internal WiFi network.
- Broadband policy and grant funding decisions for projects must be based on service actually provided, rather than advertised service. The data collected will help ensure that funding is directed to areas where ISPs claim to have adequate service, but where such service, in truth, is not actually delivered.
How It Works:
Volunteers will be asked to attach a small device to their home Internet router for a two-week period, during which speed and quality tests will be performed. The study will not monitor volunteers’ Internet use in any way, and volunteers will have access to their own testing results.
These devices consist of a small computer which connects to the fixed service in a home by a wired connection to an available Ethernet port on the user’s broadband modem/router. Two cords come out of the device – one for the Ethernet connection, and the other a simple electric cord to plug into a wall outlet. Instructions will be included in the package showing how to install the device and providing a web address for the user to register the device online at the time of installation. The device is programmed to run the same speed test used for our mobile CalSPEED apps.
Volunteers wil be asked to complete the study for a two-week period. After which they will be asked to return the device in its original packaging with a provided return label.The first phase of the study will determine whether some technologies are better than others in their ability to deliver promised speeds and analyze whether the home’s Wi-Fi network is the culprit slowing down the service for which the customer is paying. So, whether a customer is receiving service from a telephone, cable, fiber, wireless, or satellite company, the CPUC seeks their help to arrive at meaningful results.
How Participants Are Selected
Selected participants will be chosen in accordance with the sampling plan to ensure a statistically significant distribution of the devices. Devices will be shipped to eligible volunteers after selection.