Like many, I freaked out this week when I read that Verizon admitted to throttling connections from Netflix.  But then Verizon denied the rumor. Maybe the best answer is to keep a close eye on download speeds from different points on the net.

I’ve just switched home ISPs from to Astound. I loved Sonic’s politics, and their customer service was great. However, the fastest I ever got from them was 18Mb/s down, and about 2Mb/s up. For the same price, Astound gets me much better speeds, and as far as I can tell, Astound’s politics aren’t horrible. They’re not AT&T, anyway.

Server d/l speed, Mb/s
AWS, East 67
AWS, CA 100
AWS, OR 90
Linode, NJ 61
Linode, GA 52
Linode, TX 63
Linode, CA 80

Speed is very closely connected to geography, and that seems reasonable.

I think there’s room for a daemon app that runs a few times per week against a huge database of sites. Basically crowdsource speeds from all over the net. The app should fire at random times, and grab a site or two randomly from the database, then get a speed check. It would then report the speed , the ISP, the protocol, and the IP address of the checker with a timestamp to a central database. This would provide a crowdsourced monitor of what ISPs are doing with our packets.