CRTC tackles broadband speed claims, plans live testing

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) wants to know whether its nation's broadband providers are actually delivering the high-speed data speeds they're claiming and is examining the FCC's broadband testing programs in the United States and the Ofcom model in the U.K. as possible ways to find out.

While still in its early stages, the CRTC, in the next 60 to 90 days, wants to conduct a live test to better understand the end user experience and whether it measures up to the carrier's claims.

"As many Internet users are aware, the maximum advertised speed is not always the speed that you actually get," said Leonard Katz, acting CRTC chairman speaking during the 2012 Canadian Telecom Summit. "Testing of actual broadband speed at the customer's end of the line can be an important tool for measuring achievement against objective."

The CRTC's national speed target is set at 5 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. The organization estimates that 88 percent of the country's users have access to speeds that exceed that.

The recent push, Katz said, is to make sure that consumers get "good value for the money they spend" on telecom services and that ISPs properly explain how much bandwidth is being consumed when downloading videos using desktop computers or wireless devices.

For more:
- The Globe and Mail has this story

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