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 Monday, June 17, 2013

ITU experts are discussing ways to meet user and operator demand for a standardized methodology for measuring Internet access speeds. The establishment of such a framework would inspire greater consumer confidence in advertised speeds and ensure that accurate comparisons can be made between offerings from different operators.

The experts meeting under the auspices of the ITU-T Joint Coordination Activity on Conformance and Interoperability Testing (JCA-CIT) are discussing how end-to-end testing can be facilitated via remote access to world-class testing facilities.

A meeting of JCA-CIT, 25 April 2013, analyzed the proposal of an independent speed-testing methodology from a variety of perspectives; taking presentations from a national regulator, a national testing laboratory and a manufacturer of testing equipment.

Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) presented its study evaluating the status quo of received Internet access speed as compared to advertised or contracted broadband speeds. The ultimate goal of Germany’s research in this field is to produce fundamental considerations for the development of a quality-measurement methodology accessible to end-users. The study attempts to gain an informed basis on various QoS aspects with regard to Article 20 (Contracts) and Article 22 (Quality of Service) of the “Universal Service Directive” of the European Union, Directive 2002/22/EC on “universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services”.

The testing laboratory of the Central Research Telecommunication Institute (ZNIIS, Russia) presented its implementation plan for the joint ITU-ZNIIS project to establish a ‘virtual laboratory’ granting developing countries remote access to cutting-edge tools for the assessment of network performance, Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE).

A central goal in the ITU-ZNIIS project is the development of a framework for the remote testing of fixed and mobile Internet access speeds. This goal is the subject of a contribution made by the Russian Federation to ITU-T Study Group 11 which proposes a new work item focused on standardizing the framework and protocols needed to enable the testing of end-to-end Internet access speed. The proposal advocates for the independent estimation of the quality of end-user access to the Internet and the interconnection speeds between carrier networks, thereby offering means to aid operators in drafting service-level agreements (SLAs) with their customers and other operators.

The presentations from the Federal Network Agency of Germany and ZNIIS were supported by a manufacturer’s perspective in the form of a presentation on QoS/QoE assessment from a maker of telecom testing equipment, Arcatech (UK).

JCA-CIT enters the 2013-2016 study period with a strengthened mandate, assisting ITU-T Study Group 11 (Protocols and test specifications) in coordinating the implementation of the ITU Conformity and Interoperability (C&I) programme.

Read the report from the most recent meeting of JCA-CIT here (TIES restricted)

More information on the implementation of the ITU C&I Programme is available in the C&I Portal

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