A free broadband measurement
service for consumers
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.
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.
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...