When thinking about broadband in the United States, the first thing people likely think about is whether their connection is fast enough– are they getting the speeds they need to do business, go to school, etc. The dominance of “speed” in assessing broadband service goes all the way to the top- the FCC defines broadband according to the achievable download and upload speeds to the Internet. But generic speed test measurements only go so far in observing a connection’s performance, and M-Lab and the research community are working to expand the concept of broadband measurement beyond basic speeds.
Many people know M-Lab and our TCP performance test, NDT, from running it in a web browser. Perhaps the largest single source of NDT tests comes from its integration by the Google Search team. While M-Lab is known for the large volume of crowdsourced test data resulting from people running our tests, over the past few years we’ve developed new ways to run our tests and open source Internet measurement tests from other platforms using a tool we’ve called Murakami.