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Tim Wu says internet speed promises in New York may still be ‘illusory’

Tim Wu says internet speed promises in New York may still be ‘illusory’

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In October, the New York Attorney General's Office announced that it was investigating major internet service providers in the state, sending letters to Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision that asked the companies to disclose more information about internet speeds. As part of that investigation, the office this week started asking New Yorkers to record their data speeds, and to send that information into the office.

Office directing New Yorkers to an internet speed test

Tim Wu — whose resume now includes both "father of net neutrality" and senior lawyer at the attorney general's office — told The Verge that the office is "very concerned as to whether people are getting what they’re paying for."

Although the service providers have responded to the state's letters, Wu says the office is directing New York internet users to the third-party speed test Internet Health Test, and will factor data from that into its investigation. The test looks for speeds on six different internet "backbone" carriers; the attorney general's office has said disputes over such "interconnection" agreements between service providers and those carriers may be the source of downgraded speeds.

"It’s a very helpful supplement to what we have," he says.

Wu says the problems could mean speeds advertised by service providers don't hold up — that it "often results in those promises being illusory." The service providers have denied that they have done anything wrong.