The old modem rate code (&rate;) never gave an acurate indication of modem speed over the course of a session... or during varying network conditions.
This is WNI's official Benchmark Test. Click on Button, then hit INFO. Click BENCHMARK TEST Button there and allow the image to load. The Results Page will follow. It will give you the actual byte rate per second. This value will change depending on conditions. You can interprete the value any way you want. ;-)