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Performance Testing

Broadband Performance Testing

South Slope receives High Cost Support from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the Connect America Fund (CAF). This plan provides funds that allow us to expand and improve our network’s infrastructure.

Broadband service providers like South Slope that receive these federal funds are required to test a random sample of customer locations to ensure that quality standards for speed and latency, or response time, are being met.

Read more from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).

What happens if you are randomly selected by USAC for testing?

South Slope will notify you that USAC has selected you for performance testing. The FCC encourages consumers to participate in this important testing program, as it helps verify service quality standards are met. South Slope will work with you to provide the equipment and services necessary to participate in this testing.

What are the performance testing requirements?

  • Customers have been randomly selected by USAC.
  • Testing will be conducted between 6 p.m. – 12 a.m., daily for one week each quarter over a two-year period.
  • Both speed and latency are tested.
  • Speed tests will be conducted once an hour starting at the beginning of the hour.
  • Latency testing will be conducted once a minute and will include 60 test per hour.
  • All test results must be submitted to USAC.

Why is my broadband provider asking me to install network test equipment or upgrade my modem?

Your provider may be receiving federal funds to support their network in your area. The FCC requires providers that receive federal Universal Service High-Cost support to test the speed and latency of their participating networks. South Slope will work with you to provide the equipment and services necessary to participate in this testing.

What is the purpose of the testing?

The testing ensures that consumers are receiving services that meet the speed and latency standards required by the federal program. Such testing is similar to routine network testing already performed by providers to make sure networks are functioning properly.

How do I know if my broadband provider is receiving High Cost support?

Areas that are eligible for universal service support are indicated on the Connect America Fund Broadband Map.

Do customers have to participate in testing?

Customers are under no obligation to have additional or new equipment placed in their homes or small businesses.

Can broadband providers charge customers for equipment required for testing?

No. Providers cannot charge customers for equipment needed solely for federally-required speed and latency testing, including the costs of a new router if the router is being replaced for testing purposes.

Will the federally-required testing allow my provider to see what I search for or watch on the internet?

No. The equipment required to measure speed and latency does not enable providers to see or track a customer’s online activity. No data or private information is captured during the performance testing.

Will the testing impact my service quality or speed?

No. The testing equipment should have no effect on service speeds or latency.

Can I test my broadband speed and latency on my own?

There are a variety of independent online tools or mobile apps that you can use to test your internet speed and latency. Learn more about the FCC’s Measuring Broadband America program.

If you have additional questions, please contact us.

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