Your Internet Service Performance

Illinois Electric Cooperative provides consumers with a variety of high-speed plans from which to choose. Illinois Electric Cooperative further provisions its consumers' routers and engineers its network with the goal of enabling consumers to enjoy the speeds to which they subscribe. However, Illinois Electric Cooperative does not guarantee that a consumer will achieve those speeds at all times. Illinois Electric Cooperative advertises its speeds as "up to" a specific level based on the tier of service to which a consumer subscribes. The "actual" speed that a consumer will experience while using the service depends upon a variety of conditions, many of which are beyond the control of Illinois Electric Cooperative as an Internet Service Provider ("ISP").

These conditions include:

  1. Performance of a consumer's computer, including factors such as its age, processing capability, operating system, the number of applications running simultaneously, and the presence of any adware and viruses.
  2. Type of connection between a consumer's computer and router. For example, in-home wireless connections between the computer and the router may be generally slower than wired connections. In-home wireless connections also may be subject to greater performance fluctuations, caused by factors like interference, attenuation, and congestion. Illinois Electric Cooperative recommends that consumers confirm that their in-home wireless connections are able to support the speeds that Illinois Electric Cooperative's services deliver. Certain older in-home wireless connections and routers cannot perform at the speeds delivered by Illinois Electric Cooperative's higher speed tiers. Consumers can purchase their router at a retail outlet, or they can lease the necessary equipment from Illinois Electric Cooperative, though even wireless routers leased from Illinois Electric Cooperative are subject to some of the same limitations mentioned above.
  3. The distance and time it takes packets to travel between a consumer's router and their final destination on the Internet, or their point of origination and a consumer's router, including the number and quality of the networks of various operators in the transmission path. The Internet is a "network of networks." A consumer's Internet traffic may traverse the networks of multiple providers before reaching its destination, and the capabilities of those networks, as well as the capacity of the facilities the edge provider (i.e., any provider of content, applications, or services over the Internet) has chosen to route its traffic to Illinois Electric Cooperative's network (and the interconnection capacity it has arranged), may affect the overall speed of an Internet connection.
  4. Congestion or high usage levels at the edge provider or destination. When you access an edge provider or particular destination that is being visited by others at the same time, you may experience a slower connection if the edge provider or destination does not have sufficient capacity to serve all of the visitors efficiently at the same time.
  5. Gating of speeds or access by the edge provider or destination. To control traffic or performance, many edge providers limit the speeds at which a visitor can download from their site. Those speed limitations will carry through to a consumer's connection.
  6. The performance of the router you have installed. Router performance may degrade over time, and certain routers are not capable of handling higher speeds.       Illinois Electric Cooperative has a managed router program in place now to help address these concerns. Additionally, Illinois Electric Cooperative encourages its consumers to promptly contact consumer service if they have any concerns about their router performance or speed capabilities.

Speed

The Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") conducts an ongoing, rigorous study of the performance of the largest ISPs in the United States ("Measuring Broadband America"). The most recent report from this study can be found on the FCC's website. The FCC determined advertised downstream and upstream speeds during the busiest periods of the day, known as "peak" times, during sustained testing. Peak times are Monday through Friday from 7:00pm to 11:00pm local time.

Below are the median download and upload speeds by tier. Unless otherwise noted, the reported information comes from recent internal study during peak and off-peak times.

Download Speed Tier

Measured Speed (Peak)

Measured Speed (Off Peak)

Upload Speed Tier

Measured Speed (Peak)

Measured Speed (Off Peak)

2 Mbps

1.1033

5.36

2 Mbps

0.29

2.2567

5 Mbps

1.1033

5.36

2 Mbps

0.29

2.2567

6 Mbps

4.1333

4.6533

2 Mbps

1.2467

1.3033

25 Mbps

30.03

25.575

10 Mbps

11.2333

11.18

50 Mbps (1)

49.3767

49.2933

50 Mbps

48.2833

48.2633

100 Mbps (1)

97.69

98.1267

100 Mbps

96.11

96.3533

200 Mbps (1)

195.58

194.97

200 Mbps

187.1533

189.1933

1 Gbps (1)

802.96

858.3

1 Gbps

793.69

829.65

(1) Only available in select markets

       

There are other speed tests that measure Internet performance. We have provided links to a few of these sites below for your reference. Please note, however, that all speed tests have limitations and flaws. Each of these tests measures limited aspects of an ISP's speed and therefore must be seen as a guide rather than definitive measurements of performance.

Latency

Latency is another measurement of Internet performance. Latency is the time delay in transmitting or receiving packets on a network. Latency is primarily a function of the distance between two points of transmission, but also can be affected by the number and quality of the network or networks used in transmission. Latency is typically measured in milliseconds, and generally has no significant impact on typical everyday Internet usage. As latency varies based on any number of factors, most importantly the distance between a consumer's computer and the ultimate Internet destination, it is not possible to provide consumers with a single figure that will define latency as part of a user experience. Illinois Electric Cooperative has no basis for saying what level of latency should be expected by any particular user at any particular time but notes that the measured results from the FCC study as to past performance are perhaps the closest one can come to identifying expectations of future performance as well.

The FCC study measures latency using packet tests that calculate the time it takes for packets to travel from a consumer location to a target test node and back. Below are the Illinois Electric Cooperative median latency results by tier during peak and off-peak times (as defined above), during sustained testing:

Download Speed Tier

Latency (Peak)

Latency (Off Peak)

2 Mbps

56.3 ms

58.6

5 Mbps

56.3 ms

58.6

6 Mbps

100.4 ms

98.2 ms

25 Mbps

45.6 ms

39.8 ms

50 Mbps (1)

22.5 ms

19.3 ms

100 Mbps (1)

23.1 ms

18.5 ms

200 Mbps (1)

23.4 ms

18.2 ms

1 Gbps (1)

24.1 ms

18.8 ms

(1) Only available in select markets

 

Consumers can test the latency characteristics of their service at http://68.69.32.18:5005/html/speedtest/index.html. Of course, this test also may reflect limitations in a consumer's home network (especially Wi-Fi) and computers, and therefore will not necessarily reflect the performance of the Illinois Electric Cooperative network alone.

There are other latency tests available on the Internet. As previously explained, however, all tests have limitations and flaws, and therefore must be seen as a guide rather than definitive measurements of performance.

Packet Loss

Packet loss is a third measurement of Internet performance. Packet loss is the percentage of packets that are sent by the source but not received by the destination. This is sometimes due to congestion along the route but may also reflect an impairment in a consumer's home network, including their Wi-Fi and network cables as well as the connection from the consumer's home to the Illinois Electric Cooperative network. Consumers should diagnose their home network for possible repair if packet loss is high. Packet loss is also a normal part of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and signals to a sender to slow their sending rate to adjust to available bandwidth along a network path. As a result, a small amount of packet loss is expected and normal, but it is unlikely to directly affect the perceived quality of applications that request retransmission of lost packets, such as web browsing and email. In addition, measures to further reduce packet loss would require unacceptable increases in latency. However, packet loss may affect the perceived quality of applications that do not request retransmission of lost packets, such as VoIP phone calls and video chat. Nevertheless, packet losses of a few tenths of a percent are sufficiently small so that they are unlikely to significantly affect the perceived quality of these applications. The Internet's technical community continues to debate the merit and meaning of packet loss measurement. Illinois Electric Cooperative has no basis for saying what level of packet loss should be expected by any particular user at any particular time but notes that the measured results from the FCC study as to past performance are perhaps the closest one can come to identifying expectations of future performance as well.

The FCC study includes packet loss tests performed using packet tests that measure the time it takes those packets to travel from a consumer location to a target test node and back. Packets not received back within three seconds of sending were treated as lost. Below are the Illinois Electric Cooperative average packet loss results by tier during peak and off-peak times (as defined above), during sustained testing.

Download Speed Tier

Packet Loss (Peak)

Packet Loss (Off Peak)

2 Mbps

1.10%

1.10%

5 Mbps

1.10%

1.10%

6 Mbps

1.40%

1.10%

25 Mbps

<1%

<1%

50 Mbps (1)

<1%

<1%

100 Mbps (1)

<1%

<1%

200 Mbps (1)

<1%

<1%

1 Gbps (1)

<1%

<1%

(1) Only available in select markets

 

Consumers can test their packet loss by performing ping tests or other tests. As previously explained, however, all tests have limitations and flaws, and therefore must be seen as a guide rather than definitive measurements of performance. These tests are heavily dependent on several of the factors outlined above, especially the consumer's in-home Wi-Fi network. Therefore, these tests do not necessarily reflect the performance of the Illinois Electric Cooperative network alone.