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Network Stumbler: A Powerful Broadband Tool

Contributor: Dwayne Goodman – Wireless Engineer

Tools utilized by providers, industry experts and network engineers are becoming safer and more effective to use while off the beaten path.  One tool in particular, called Network Stumbler, has caught the attention of providers and engineers alike.

Better tools, like the Network Stumbler, make it easier for our organization, and our partners, to bring broadband access to more schools, businesses, and communities across the country.

Recently, Connected Nation's Wes Kerr had the opportunity to test NetStumbler and the tool’s ability to aid network technicians in conducting coverage estimation and validations of broadband provider service territories.  Network Stumbler, or NetStumbler, allows network technicians to conduct wide area network performance testing (such as interference sourcing, access point detection, and antenna alignment) and, as Kerr discovered during testing, NetStumbler can be implemented successfully as described.

Recognition of Wi-Fi access points in tandem with utilization of GPS-enabled NetStumbler is a non-invasive way for engineers to verify broadband availability and corresponding data. NetStumbler can be configured to work with GPS so that it “geotags” the locations of Wi-Fi access points. This presents the user with a data set indicating the presence of broadband internet at specific latitude and longitude coordinates. Engineers are constantly seeking visual confirmation of infrastructure, and the utilization of NetStumbler allows the user to stay focused on safe driving and arrival at their next destination while capturing visual data hands-free.

In short, while NetStumbler is not a tool that can be used to confirm definitive provider services or availability, it does provide significant and accurate investigatory support while making broadband verification more efficient, thorough, and safe.

We invite you to connect with us today to learn more about the tools and methods we’re deploying to bring broadband to more communities across the nation. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.