CIRA Launches Online Test to Test Canadians’ Internet Speeds for Research

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority this week today announced the general availability of its Internet Performance Test.

Through a 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, CIRA says.

The [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.

“Internet speed and performance is a critical component of Canada’s national competitiveness,” says Jacques Latour, chief technology officer at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. “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.”

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, CIRA says. This is information that researchers can use to assess the digital divide in Canada and investigate linkages between demography, geography, economics, and Internet performance.