The CRTC is looking for 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.’ The device will measure broadband performance.
The device will also test a number of parameters including download and upload speeds. Participants will have to connect ‘Whitebox’ to their modem or router.
“The data collected through this project will help consumers see whether they are getting the Internet speeds that were advertised by Internet Service Providers,” said Scott Hutton, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chief of consumer, research and communications, in a press release.
Results collected during the study will give the CRTC a better understanding if consumers are receiving the speeds that they expect.
The CRTC will publish a report outlining the findings once the study is complete.
Participating internet providers and the CRTC have guaranteed the privacy of Canadians. The ‘Whitebox’ will not collect information about consumers online activities, according to the press release.
While the CRTC has opened the floor for providers in the space to participate, others in the industry believe the CRTC is not being fully inclusive.
I wonder why the #CRTC is excluding #xplornet from it’s speed measurement tests?https://t.co/kuXgbIpUV0
“At this stage, the participating Internet service providers’s include Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, Bell MTS, Cogeco, Northwestel, Rogers, Shaw, TELUS, and Videotron.”
— Commissioner Miner (@fanCRTCProfling) May 9, 2019
TekSavvy’s Andy Kaplan-Myrth tweeted that the CRTC designed it “in a way that excludes competitors.”
Competitors would include Xplornet, a rural high-speed internet service provider.
Notice anything about the ISPs participating in @CRTCeng speed testing? All incumbents, because they *designed* it in a way that excludes competitors.
— Andy Kaplan-Myrth (@kaplanmyrth) May 9, 2019
A spokesperson from the CRTC said in an email: “Since this is a voluntary and collaborative project between the CRTC and the industry, it is up to the ISPs to make their own technical and business decision about whether they find value in participating.”
With files from Shruti Shekar
Update 09/05/19: The article was updated with a comment from the CRTC