Baltimore Data Day is an annual conference bringing together “community leaders, nonprofit organizations, government and civic-minded technologists to explore trends in community-based data and learn how other groups are using data to support and advance constructive change.” This year the 11th annual event expanded to become Baltimore Data Week, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the conference’s host organization, the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA). As a Baltimorean myself, I was honored to be invited to give a talk about the M-Lab platform and our open data, on the conference’s “Digital Inclusion Day.”
Starting October 7th, 2020, the ndt7 server on the M-Lab platform will require access tokens issued by the Locate API v2 to run a measurement.
Over the past month, M-Lab has published a series of blog posts about ndt7. As of Thursday, August 13th, 2020 roughly 90% of NDT clients using secure websockets have completed the migration from ndt5 to ndt7.
NDT measures “bulk transport capacity”: the maximum date rate that TCP can reliably deliver data using the unreliable IP protocol over an end-to-end Internet path. TCP’s goal is to send data at exactly the optimal rate for the network, containing just the right mix of new data and retransmissions such that the receiver gets exactly one copy of everything. Since its creation, the TCP protocol has consistently made improvements to the way it accomplishes this task, consequently, NDT has also incrementally changed to reflect these improvements. The most recent improvements, including support for TCP BBR, are available in ndt7. On July 24th, we announced the start of migration of NDT clients to the latest protocol version. As of today, approximately 50% of clients are using ndt7. As the ndt7 measurements become the majority of the NDT dataset, the M-Lab team is considering what we do and do not know about whether and how changes to the NDT protocol have affected M-Lab’s longitudinal NDT dataset over time.
Following the general availability of the ndt7 protocol, we will be working with NDT client integrators to support their migration to ndt7. As they do, the NDT dataset will shift from predominantly ndt5 to predominantly ndt7. As part of assessing our readiness for this larger effort, a pilot was started on July 8.