An Explanation of States on Better Internet Dashboard

Over the past months I have spotted some issues with people misunderstanding the checker results provided by the Better Internet Dashboard and want to try to clarify the results that can be produced and explain exactly what they mean.

As of today, there are three different types of results that Better Internet Dashboard provides. Two of which are based on the native checkers for Better Internet Dashboard, and the other for proximity based results.

Native Checkers

The Better Internet Dashboard is made up of a series of custom made checkers. These checkers will take the address and query the provider in real-time, this can be done via a series of API calls, or using simple web scraping. All these checkers run in the cloud and tracking information is not passed on to any of the providers.

Result Types

A provider will always specify if a premise is live or not live, however in a lot of cases, the provider will also specify an interim step for when they are actively working in an area or starting their build. This is the “planned” state.

Because of this, we have a result that goes from “not live” to “live”, or “unplanned” to “planned” and finally to “live”.

This means that technically, “planned” and “not live” can be the same thing, it solely depends on the checker and what the provider exposes to us.

Proximity Based Check

In order to increase the usefulness of Better Internet Dashboard, proximity based results were created.

These provide a “local” result when a provider is known to have a serviceable address within 5 kilometres.


The illustration below should help explain how a service can be displayed on Better Internet Dashboard:

Order of BIDB results

A provider can not have more than one state and will generally move towards the right. Exceptions apply to this rule, for example, a service can go back from “planned” to “unplanned”.

Future Changes

Today, I believe the states are in good shape however there are a couple changes due.

Proximity Based Native Results

The “local” state is useful however it could be made more useful if it was used alongside the “non live” results. Therefore, in the future there’ll be an indication of when a “local” result exists, alongside information for the Better Internet Dashboard.

General Clarification

The fact I am writing this post means there’s a lack of clarity on Better Internet Dashboard.

Unfortunately when creating such a dense overview of data it becomes tricky to provide all the context to the user without polluting the page with documentation. I will always try to make Better Internet Dashboard as obvious as possible for users and more work needs to be done on this specific problem.