Measurement Lab, an open, independent analysis organization devoted to measuring the quality of Internet connections and detecting censorship, technical faults and network neutrality violations, has released a major new report on how ISPs connect to one another, and it's not pretty.
From M-Labs: "Tl;dr using M-Lab data from 2012 through present, our research finds that during 2013 and some of 2014 US broadband performance was at sub-broadband levels for tens of thousands of consumers of AT&T, CentryLink, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. ( Broadband = 4 Mbps, per the FCC). Further, we are able to connect this sustained performance degradation to the business relationships between ISPs, and to rule out massive technical failure."
This is huge: these companies — who are presently vying to have even fewer constraints on their monopolistic practices, and to merge with one another to become even bigger and less accountable — have taken Americans' online lives hostage and degraded the quality of their access to the entire world of electronically mediated work, health information, politics, education, community, and entertainment, merely to nudge a few more points into their quarterly numbers. America — birthplace of the Internet — is one of the worst places in the world to get online today.
The report is CC licensed and all the raw data is online for your crunching pleasure.
ISP Interconnection and its Impact on Consumer Internet Performance [PDF]
ISP Interconnection and its Impact on Consumer Internet Performance: Introducing A New M-Lab Consortium Technical Report [Blog post]
(Disclosure: I volunteer with Measurement Labs's Meredith Whittaker on the nonprofit Simply Secure project)