The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) today announced the general availability of the new .CA Internet Performance Test. Through a simple web application, Canadians can evaluate the download and upload speeds of their Internet connections. The test results allow researchers to access critical information about Canada's Internet.
- The .CA Internet Performance Test is designed to show users their speed and performance in real network conditions, including network congestion and complex global data routes. Many other tests compensate for these realities, showing only the best-case scenario for a given connection. Results are mapped using postal code data, allowing users to understand how their connection performs next to that of their neighbours.
- The test is made up of test servers located throughout Canada at various Internet exchange points. These exchange points are critical hubs for the Canadian Internet and important for the efficient and fast transfer of data securely within Canada's borders. Currently located in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, these servers run the M-LAB platform, a research-based ecosystem for the open, verifiable measurement of global network performance.
- As each user performs a test, data is anonymously collected and aggregated into a large dataset that spans Canada. Researchers will be able to understand the capabilities of Canada's Internet infrastructure and Canadians will be able to compare their connection speeds with others. This is important information that researchers can use to assess the digital divide in Canada and investigate linkages between demography, geography, economics, and Internet performance.
- The .CA Internet Performance Test is one part of how the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the .CA domain, is working to advance the Internet in Canada. The test will provide consumers, Internet service providers, network administrators, and regulators with important information about how the Internet in Canada performs, and details that can help improve the Internet experience.
"Internet speed and performance is a critical component of Canada's national competitiveness. This test will help Canadian families ensure they are getting the speed they expect, help IT managers ensure their connections are properly configured, and help policy makers and researchers understand new emerging digital divides."
– Jacques Latour, chief technology officer at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.
"The .CA test is a first for Canada. It is a nationwide, homegrown test to study the Internet by asking those who know the most about it: the Canadian public. The test relies on people across Canada to help better understand the Internet. Canadians contribute to our public knowledge about the Internet while learning about their home connection; they are both participants and beneficiaries of this project. I have been involved with this project since day one and am excited about what the .CA test can achieve in terms of research and policy development."
– Fenwick McKelvey, assistant professor at Concordia University