Lies, Damned Lies and ISP Statistics

This week’s been a pretty poor one so far for the Tooway system: we started with a major and complete outage over much of the weekend, with of course no status information available from them or from Avonline.

Now today (Wednesday) I’ve noticed subjective huge fluctuations in throughput – more particularly, testing shows a huge discrepancy between what Tooway’s own speed tester reports and that of third parties. If Tooway is to be believed, our connection is delivering near-optimal throughput on both upload and download: 19Mb/s down and 5.8Mb/s up. A very different story appears when looking from third party speed testers: anything from 5.8Mb/s down & 4Mb/s up to 1.65 Mb/s down and 0.76Mb/s up.

The kindest explanation I can come up with is that Tooway’s own speed tester is located directly on their network, so is measuring only the uplink/downlink, whereas the third party testers are elsewhere. Like the rest of us in fact.

A less kind explanation is that Tooway is deliberately ‘massaging’ their connection figures: they certainly don’t reflect the real-world customer experience.

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