About SamKnows

A free broadband measurement
service for consumers

SamKnows Sauce

Today

SamKnows remains a free resource for consumers and volunteers. Our goal is to embed our software suite into internet enabled devices to build the most accurate picture of global broadband performance. We are currently working with consumers, governments and manufacturers globally to achieve this.

This is a fast moving project, so please keep checking back to see how we’re getting on. In the meantime, see what we’ve been up to below.

Brasilia 2012

Following a series of public consultations, the Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel publish a RFP with two distinct requirements, the first being to create a standard for measuring both fixed and mobile broadband performance in Brazil, the second to create a separate Brazilian entity whose sole purpose is to benchmark the standard of Brazilian mobile and fixed broadband. SamKnows was appointed to carry out both tasks and partnered with PwC Brazil to provide support services in-country. This is the first such strategic partnership for SamKnows, but one that is an excellent fit for the Brazil project.

Singapore 2011

As our first project in Asia, SamKnows is appointed by the Singaporean regulator, the IDA, to complete a measurement study of fixed broadband performance. The study will focus on the major ISPs within Singapore, with a particular focus on how these ISPs deliver performance both domestically and internationally.

Brussels - 2011

Seeing a need for accurate measurement of Internet services across the European Union, the European Commission appoint SamKnows to make its Whiteboxes available to citizens across the EU. The key technical challenge of this project is how to accommodate the different access technologies across Europe, whilst making sure that the methodology is consistent for each country. With the benefit of the previous projects in the USA and UK, SamKnows has developed a standalone Whitebox which any consumer can plug into their home network to test their ISP.

San Jose - 2010

Faced with the need to produce industrial quantities of magic boxes for a variety of ISPs and government clients, SamKnows developed a technology which can popular manufacturers' routers into a SamKnows-enabled measurement device. This concept is still based around Sam's original recipe of tests, although Sam — and now his team of professional programmers — have made numerous improvements to his original 'bedroom version'.

The first router manufacturer to launch a SamKnows enabled device is Netgear. SamKnows is currently working with other device manufacturers worldwide to make the tests available on other devices.

Washington DC - 2010

Following a global competitive tender, SamKnows was selected by the Federal Communications Commission to build a community of volunteers to measure American broadband performance using the SamKnows measurement platform. This project is regarded as one of the most important aspects of the American broadband plan.

London - 2009

Sam Crawford, a young software developer, observed that lots of people he spoke to had various gripes and complaints the service they received from the Internet provider. Some complained service was always slow, some complained service was intermittent, and some complained it only slowed down at peak hours.

Web-based speed testers seemed inconsistent results, and it was clear that these only scratched the surface of the issue.

He realised that the only way of properly measuring a user's Internet performance was to do it from the edge of their home network - i.e. at their router. Only here could you account for other traffic that may be interfering with measurements, and you wouldn't be subject to a poor in-home wireless network skewing your figures either.

Sensing what appeared to be a glaring information gap, Sam set about building his own router with his tests embedded. Eager to spread the word Sam posted a research paper detailing his solution online and was inundated by requests from people interested in the project. One of these people was from Ofcom, the UK communications regulator.

Two years later, SamKnows has expanded from a bedroom operation into a global company and the original concept with the latest generation of those same tests have now been adopted as an industry standard by the American and UK regulators.

Sam and his growing team are very happy with their progress, but are keen to get more consumers involved...

SamKnows Timeline

2012

2012
FEB
SamKnows wins its first South American assignment. SamKnows partners with PWC Brazil and is appointed by ANATEL and and operators to develop a Performance Measurement Solution for Brazil.
2012
JAN
The FCC appoints SamKnows for the USA?s second nationwide broadband measurement project.

2011

2011
NOV
SamKnows is appointed by the IDA, the Singaporean government regulator to expand its measurement platform to Asia.
2011
OCT
SamKnows and the European Commission kick-off the recruitment for the EU measurement project with an official endorsement from Nellie Kroes.
2011
SEP
SamKnows and the FCC begin working towards creating a global measurement standard, based on the SamKnows platform that can be adopted by manufacturers worldwide.
2011
AUG
The FCC Chairman Julius Glenachowski holds a press conference at Washington DC branch of Best Buy to announce the FCC/SamKnows Measuring Broadband America project.
2011
JUN
SamKnows submit its draft report to the FCC for consideration. We're absolutely delighted. This has been a huge endeavour and one that we will be continuing. Thanks for everyone involved - you know who you are!
2011
MAY
SamKnows complete integration into a selection of popular Technicolor gateway devices.
2011
APR
SamKnows is retained again by the FCC to continue its work in the US. With an active panel up and running, the focus now shifts to increasing the panel via the collaborative forum with the ISPs.
2011
MAR
SamKnows lock-down the US panel to collect data for the first FCC report. The collaborative discuss how this data can be best presented to consumers. The aim is to create a system of categorising broadband services that consumers will be able to use when choosing an ISP/service tier.
2011
FEB
SamKnows is appointed by the European Commission to ship SamKnows enabled routers across the European Union to measure European broadband.
2011
JAN
SamKnows ship the final batch of Whiteboxes to US consumers, completing the panel. Thousands of broadband customers are kindly hosting SamKnows Whiteboxes to advance American broadband.

2010

2010
OCT
SamKnows and the collaborative, (including leading US ISPs, equipment vendors, academics and consumer groups) agree on a standard methodology for testing broadband performance. Led by the Federal Communications Commission.
2010
SEP
SamKnows and the FCC start to ship the first Whiteboxes to US Consumers.
2010
JUN
Test my ISP. SamKnows and FCC partner to launch Test my ISP, a joint initiative to provide US consumers with reliable and accurate statistics of their broadband connection.
2010
APR
FCC partnership. SamKnows tenders for a FCC contract to benchmark broadband performance in the USA.

2009

2009
NOV
FCC debate. SamKnows participates in an FCC debate over broadband measurement in Washington DC.
2009
MAY
Initial USA tests. SamKnows deploys Whiteboxes into the USA.
2009
APR
BBC. SamKnows is commissioned by the BBC to complete a study of UK "Broadband Not-Spots".

2008

2008
AUG
First SamKnows Report. First SamKnows Report. SamKnows publishes its first "Broadband Performance Benchmark Report".
2008
MAY
Initial UK Tests. SamKnows completes its first test of UK ISPs.