Crowdsourcing helps City of Kitchener test local Internet performance

Partnership with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority including benchmarking and ongoing evaluation will be key part of Digital Kitchener project

Kitchener, ON – November 17, 2016 – The City of Kitchener and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) have launched a six-month pilot to test Internet performance around the city. But they need residents’ help to do it.

Kitchener’s test allows residents to measure their Internet performance and understand the speed and quality of their connections. The city is asking residents to test their home or business connection using an Internet browser, on any device at https://performance.cira.ca/Kitchener. The test contributes this data to a broader set of crowdsourced data that will allow city staff to conduct wider analysis on Internet performance across the city.  

This pilot supports Digital Kitchener, the city’s first digital strategy, by ensuring Kitchener has reliable, fast Internet services to support the city’s growing digital economy and tech sector – now and in the future, not only for the digital economy, but also to meet consumer demands of faster, stronger, better.

Weak spots are identified using a custom heat-map interface that offers insight into the relationship between geography and connectivity. The test can isolate performance data by ward or neighbourhood.

“Kitchener has a great community of technologists, entrepreneurs, and creatives that are creating new applications, services and products using the latest digital technologies,” said Dan Murray, director of technology innovation and services at the City of Kitchener. “Our local government has also embraced smart technologies as we find new and more efficient ways to serve our citizens. All of this innovation is premised on us having comprehensive and equitable access to high-performance broadband in the Kitchener community. This test will help us benchmark our connectivity and measure our improvements going forward.”

CIRA’s Internet performance test is built on the globally recognized M-Labs testing technology, with test nodes across the country. The test operates independently from any major Internet service provider network, ensuring unbiased measurements and data.

“High-performance Internet is the backbone on which smart communities efforts across Canada will run,” said Dave Chiswell, vice-president of product development, CIRA. “We need to ensure that our communities have the strong infrastructure they need to support the next generation of applications and services.”

Find out more about CIRA’s national Internet performance testing program at https://cira.ca/performance.

Background

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services that support its goal of building a better online Canada. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest-growing high-performance global DNS networks, and supports the Canadian Internet community through investments in Internet exchange points, the Canadian Internet Forum, and the CIRA Community Investment Program.