CRTC to Measure Canada’s Consumer Broadband Speeds

by Istvan Fekete on May 27, 2015

Canada has initiated a project to gauge the broadband speed customers experience at home. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is inviting Canadians to take an active part in a project that will measure the speed of their home broadband services.

Since this isn’t something CRTC would do on its own, it is collaborating with industry professionals such as SamKnows, a company specialized in measuring broadband services and, of course, major Internet service providers.

Those interested in volunteering for this project will help the regulator measure the actual speed customers get compared to the theoretical speeds Internet service providers advertise. The CRTC is in need of 6,200 volunteers, who will receive a device called the “Whitebox”.

This device will then be connected to their modem or router and periodically measure broadband performance, testing a number of parameters associated with the broadband Internet connection, including download and upload speeds.

Privacy conscious Canadians will likely skip this, although the CRTC explicitly says the measurement tests will run when users are not actively using their Internet connection, and have assured them of its commitment to privacy: No information concerning online activities will be collected.

“The project we are launching today in collaboration with SamKnows and major Canadian Internet service providers will provide valuable information,” said Barbara Motzney, CRTC Chief Consumer Officer. “This will help Canadians better understand the performance of their Internet services and whether certain Internet services from participating ISPs are delivering speeds as advertised. No information will be collected about the online activities of participants. This project is designed to run tests through an Internet connection to collect data on connection speeds. Of course, this project will only be successful if Canadians participate. We encourage those who are interested to fill out the online form today.”

The tests will then be gathered and analysed by the regulator, and the numbers will help gain additional insight into network performance and improve its broadband policy-making.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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