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SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:33 am
by scasse
Doea anyone know if it is safe (i.e. privacy protected) to participate in this study. I've pre-qualified because of my download speeds with Fusion and the fact that Sonic is not a major ISP (according to their list ;) ). They need to install a "white box" between the gateway and my router to monitor speeds, etc. I believe the study is to gather definitive info on broadband speeds from various providers and regions. I'm just a little leery of a "box" tapped into my home network.

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:52 pm
by virtualmike
What do you get out of the deal?

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:19 pm
by scasse
As far as I know nothing. Other than the satisfaction (?) of helping the FCC figure out how broadband actually works in the U.S. I'm assuming that whatever the "white box" that it has to be returned after the study. I don't even know how long the study lasts. I just wanted to see if anyone knows how safe and secure it is to participate.

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:42 pm
by virtualmike
Thanks.

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:43 pm
by dane
Because of Sonic.net's rather small overall market share, I don't think the FCC is interested in test participants on our network. They seem to be focused on the major service providers, where they can get enough measurements to draw statistically relevant conclusions.

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:23 pm
by scasse
That's sort of what I thought so I went to their website anyway and is appears that they are in England and have been around for a couple of years partnering with various organizations and providers gathering data and trying to embed their software into router manufacturers. I did their speed test and they accepted the results and will let me know if they want me to participate in their study. Monthly usage stats and overall network stability is provided to the participant so we'll see what happens.

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:59 pm
by virtualmike
scasse wrote:
... a couple of years partnering with various organizations and providers gathering data and trying to embed their software into router manufacturers.

This is ominous. I certainly would wonder what information would be collected and returned to the organization. For example, does the device simply collect bit rate information, or does it get into DPI and tell servers the types and durations of traffic, and maybe even URLs?

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:29 pm
by wifi
scasse wrote:
As far as I know nothing. Other than the satisfaction (?) of helping the FCC figure out how broadband actually works in the U.S. I'm assuming that whatever the "white box" that it has to be returned after the study. I don't even know how long the study lasts. I just wanted to see if anyone knows how safe and secure it is to participate.


http://www.testmyisp.com/
you get to keep the 'whitebox router' :)
more info in the FAQ

Re: SamKnows FCC Broadband Study

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:55 am
by oakwcj
You can read their privacy policy at:

http://www.samknows.com/broadband/privacy

There is additional info at:

http://www.testmyisp.com/faq.html#faq-16

The privacy policy looks fine to me, but I suppose that you can never be completely sure if the will honor it. AFAIK, SamKnows is not run by Mark Zuckerberg, but it is a terrible name.