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New Study Tracks Internet Quality Around the World

The Internet does not look the same to everyone. Location and other factors can have a big impact on the quality of Internet connections. In recognition of this, a collaboration between the Internet Society and Aalto University in Finland is crowdsourcing information from smartphones, tracking the quality of Internet connectivity around the world.

Using the free Netradar app, anyone can contribute their connectivity measurements to the program, which collects and displays info about the quality of download/upload speed, latency, and signal strength via an overlaid Google map.

The app has already been installed more than 130,000 times, and the database contains about 3 million measurements. Users’ personal details are not otherwise logged.

"With Netradar we hope to expose and share some of the network diversity and to study how the Internet is changing,” said Phil Roberts, acting chief internet technology officer at the Internet Society, in a statement. “The number of users in developing countries now exceeds those in developed countries. There are more mobile broadband subscribers than fixed. The Internet Society is focused on ensuring the sustainability and reliability of the Internet. Netradar helps us to understand the scope and impact of these changes."

Additional information about the project, including the interactive, zoomable map, is available online.

About the Author

Stephen Noonoo is an education technology journalist based in Los Angeles. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.

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