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France, Canada, line up consumers for internet quality testing

Arcep, France’s regulator, has published a draft decision for public consultation on implementing an application programming interface (API), to be installed directly in operators’ boxes, for measuring the quality of fixed internet services. It’s a move that Arcep says will be a global first, noting that measuring quality “is a particularly complex affair: it is virtually impossible today, from a technical standpoint, for an internet speed test to determine with absolute certainty the access technology (copper, cable, fibre) being used on the tested line. This missing detail in the testing process makes it difficult to utilise the resulting data and, in some cases, can mislead consumers.” The API would enable the transmission of information that can be likened to an “access ID card”, such as the access technology being used but also the consumer’s headline speed and the quality of the Wi-Fi connection, and other factors. No identifying information on the consumer would be transmitted. Meanwhile the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is seeking participants for the Measuring Broadband Canada project, which tests the speeds of home wireline broadband internet services. Participants will receive a device, called a “Whitebox”, that they will connect directly to their modem or router. It will periodically measure broadband performance, testing a number of parameters, including download and upload speeds. The tests can run when users are not using their connection. The CRTC will publish a report highlighting the findings. Read more at Arcep and CRTC.

  • Wednesday, 15 May 2019

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