10,000 Volunteers Needed to Assess Europe's Broadband
The European Commission will put monitoring devices into 10,000 volunteers' homes to find out if ISPs are living up to their promises.
The project, being run for the Commission by SamKnows will take place simultaneously in 30 European countries. The aim is to map the broadband performance in all European Union member states as well as Croatia, Iceland and Norway.
Volunteers will have to plug a small device into their home Internet connections. When the broadband line is not in use, the device will run a series of automated tests over the volunteer's broadband connection, simulating common Internet applications and protocols. This will measure the speed and performance of the connection, improving transparency for consumers paying for broadband connectivity. It could also help ISPs and regulators plan for the future.
State aid for broadband networks reached a record high in the E.U. in 2010. The European Commission approved the use of more than
It is estimated that currently only around 30 percent of E.U. broadband lines have speeds of at least 10M bps (bits per second) and only 5 percent of lines have average speeds at or above 30M bps.
To volunteer, go to http://www.samknows.eu to register for the testing equipment. The device does not monitor the volunteer's activity on the Internet or record any personally identifiable information.