The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released an independent analysis commissioned from internet services company Netcraft that compares and contrasts popular broadband speed test tools in use by U.S. K12 schools to support technology-enhanced school reform and improvement efforts, including for the implementation of the Common Core.
The 2012 SETDA report, The Broadband Imperative, recommends that all schools will need external Internet connections to their Internet service provider of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students and staff by 2014?15 and of 1 Gbps per 1,000 students and staff by 2017?18. SETDA commissioned the first-of-its-kind analysis of school speed test tools to highlight technical differences in the way various school speed test tools report progress in meeting these recommendations. School leaders rely on these tools to inform their long-range technology and budget planning.
“Access to robust and affordable broadband for education – in and out of school – is vital to preparing today’s students for college and careers,” said Douglas Levin, SETDA executive director. “Schools must regularly evaluate the quality of their Internet connectivity to ensure it meets the current and future needs of students and educators. School broadband speed tests play an integral role in this process.”
The Netcraft analysis of online speed testing tools includes detailed information on tools provided by SpeedTest.net, Education SuperHighway’s School Speed Test, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia’s bandwidth check diagnostic tools. It presents a detailed description of each tool, including its strengths and weaknesses, followed by observations based on measured data. It concludes by offering recommendations on how best to use each of the tools to inform decision making by education leaders and policymakers.
To access a copy of the Netcraft analysis and for more information about the SETDA report, "The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Educational Infrastructure Needs," visit: http://www.setda.org/web/guest/schoolspeedtests.