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The European Commission is set to launch an investigation into broadband performance in a bid to bring greater transparency to the true speed and reliability of interweb services.

The EC is looking for 10,000 volunteers, each of whom will all be sent a special router that will monitor the performance of their broadband when the line is not in use.

When the results are collected, they'll be published so that ISPs, regulators and all us poor concerned consumers can bear witness.

The project has shades of a similar UK-based study last year, which prompted Ofcom's damning verdict that broadband performance in Blighty was less than 50 per cent of the speeds advertised.

As a result, the Advertising Standards Authority has clamped down on certain ads, with BT one of the most recent to receive a slap on the wrist for failing to provide sufficient evidence of its super-fast broadband claims.

Despite the push for greater transparency, punters are still puzzled by broadband ads. Perhaps this latest research will clear things up. We won't hold our breath.

If you fancy taking part in the research, you can apply for your free router over on SamKnows, the company that's handling the broadband measurement.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has promised €9.2bn (£7.9bn) to help expand investment in broadband networks.

Speaking today at The Digital Agenda Summit in Brussels, Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, claimed broadband development could help boost the European economy by over €1tr in the space of a decade. ®

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