Tuesday, May 17, 2022

CRTC says you’re getting the internet speeds you’re paying for

Canadians are receiving higher-than-advertised internet speeds from major internet service providers (ISPs), found the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

The report concluded that major ISPs in Canada either met or exceeded their maximum advertised download and upload speeds, with most providing excellent latency and packet drops below 0.15 per cent.

Between Oct. 1, 2019 to Oct. 31, 2019, the CRTC gathered results from voluntary participating ISPs including Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Bell MTS, Cogeco, Northwestel, Rogers, Shaw, Telus and Vidéotron.

The speeds are measured using a “Whitebox” in the users’ homes, directly next to the router. The device, built by U.K. broadband performance analyst company SamKnows, periodically performs tests that measure connection quality, latency, upload and download speeds. Because the measurements are taken directly against the router, the results more accurately reflect the quality of service being fed into homes.

All in all, 3,255 Whiteboxes were deployed, out of which 3,024 were validated by the ISP. Network technologies analyzed include digital signal line (DSL), cable, and fibre optic networks. Each plan recorded at least five days of data from every subject. Due to technological challenges, the tests did not encompass services faster than 940Mbps.

The month of data showed that all ISPs exceeded the average download speeds they advertised. The report stated that congestion during peak hours did not severely impact the overall network quality, only reducing the download speed by three to four per cent in the worst cases.

Note that the Whitebox does not measure internet performance on every device in the network, which could vary depending on how the total bandwidth is allocated to every device.

The next stage of the broadband testing phase is open for applications.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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