Slow Internet?

For your convenience, ITC now has a speed test server located in Clear Lake. To try it out, click here and then the GO button.

The other day, while I was home, I noticed that the internet seemed “slow” when I went to check my email. I started to investigate to see what the source of the problem could be. The first thing I did was load up the new ITC speed test server at http://speed.itctel.com and pressed the “GO” button. The benefit of using the ITC server located in Clear Lake is that it gives the most accurate results to test your internet connection. It sits at the doorway to the internet for all ITC customers.

The Results

The results told me that I didn’t have much bandwidth available. Now, the nice thing about a fiber connection is that it either works or it doesn’t. Since the internet was working, I was pretty sure it wasn’t an issue at ITC, but instead something in my house must be causing a problem. I checked my home devices and found that one of my kids was downloading some game updates. Once they finished downloading, the internet returned to normal.

Looking at the speed test, I was able to tell that my connection was working properly, but I was using most of my bandwidth. The speed test shows the current Download, Upload, Ping, and Jitter. It also gives you the option to leave comments. You can click the stars to leave a rating. If you want us to contact you, enter your name and phone number in the white boxes. After you click the submit button, an email is sent to ITC.

Download

The download shown in the result is the package that you are paying for minus what you are using. For example, if you are paying for a 15 Mbps package, and are using 5 Mbps to stream Netflix, you would see 10 Mbps listed. It is important to realize that download isn’t a measurement of all your available download. Instead, download is a measurement of how much of your download is left.

Upload

Upload also shows how much bandwidth you have available for upload. If you have 3 Mbps of upload on your package and are using 1 Mbps for a video phone conference or a cloud backup, your upload speed will show 2 Mbps.

Ping

Ping latency, measured in milliseconds (ms), shows how much time it takes for your computer to talk to the speed test server. The smaller the number, the better games perform because the signals get sent to the game server faster. If the reading is anything below 130 ms, then games should be playable. If the latency shows over 200 ms, you may experience some issues.

Jitter

Jitter, also called Packet Delay Variation (PDV), is how ping latency changes during the test. Jitter is important when using VOIP programs such as Skype or Facetime. The smaller the number, the better the voice call will be. If the jitter is high, then the quality of the voice call can be impacted.

To try out ITC’s speed test yourself with the link above. It works on most desktops, tablets, and phones. Check out your speed today!

- Michael Martinell, The Broadband Guy