Taking the t­est at  https://performance.cira.ca/southshore  will help provide a basis for regional high-speed broadband planning

July 19, 2018 - Residents and business owners in three municipalities on the South Shore can now use an online test to reveal the performance of their Internet service – a measurement that will aid the region’s broadband development. The project is being cost shared by three municipal units.

The Internet Performance Test (IPT) was developed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) as a way to collect highly detailed information about the quality of internet service. The IPT measures some 100 different Internet connection factors beyond the speed of the network, to give planners information on latency (how much delay is in a connection) and the ability of your computer to connect with the latest Internet Protocols. The IPT is being administered in Atlantic Canada by the non-profit group i-Valley, which also helped to develop the tool. The IPT will map the ‘digital divide’ for our rural communities, and help municipalities prioritize those areas with poorer service.

Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Mayor, Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, stated that “Access to high-speed internet is of critical importance to the Municipality, and a key priority for our Council. We have been proactive in developing a Municipal Internet Connectivity Strategy, and investing in projects bringing better Internet to our municipality. The Internet Performance Test will give us information that will help us continue to invest in Internet and create a community in which families choose to live.”

“The use of broadband communications is fundamental to improve our economic, environmental and social well-being,” said Allen Webber, Warden, Municipality of the District of Chester. “Broadband is cited as a number one factor in choosing a residence location. Businesses also need broadband in order to compete in the digital economy; if we have world-class standards, we give them a better chance to be world-class businesses.”

Mayor David Dagley of the Region of Queens Municipality added, “The time is right to pursue regional broadband network improvements. Provincial and federal funding will become available to enable Municipalities that are prepared, to support high speed network construction. Our Municipality will continue to source funding towards improving internet service in Queens, which has become an essential service. All residents are encouraged to take the speed test to help ensure that our current networking status is clarified, to enable proper funding applications to be prepared”.

A one-button test

The IPT is community-specific to the South Shore. People in their home or business just click on a URL and launch the test, which only takes 30 seconds. Within that time, the test analyzes more than 100 variables that range from speed to quality - all the factors that could be slowing a resident down or affecting the reliability of their service.

The IPT results are displayed for everyone on a map of the region, colour-coded to highlight service quality. A red zone is poor; a blue zone is good. The IPT ranges from zero to the new national speed goal of 50 Megabits per second (Mbps). 

The further the speed drops below 25 Mbps the redder the map gets; the faster the speed the bluer it gets.

Those without any Internet connection can go to a connected facility, browse to the South Shore IPT Web site, and click on “If you wish to inform us of a location without internet access, click here”.  They will then have the opportunity to place a pin on the map. They can also contact their Municipality’s Economic Development Officer to provide their address by phone.

The tests are location-specific, registering each house or business as the buttons are pressed. People are encouraged to take the test as many times as possible, as speed results may vary over times of day.

In addition to creating a baseline for network planning, the IPT helps communities obtain evidence-based performance data for their community that will provide support for funding applications to governments to ensure sufficient broadband access.

Please click on this link to use the South Shore Internet Performance Test:

https://performance.cira.ca/southshore  

The test will be run continuously over the coming months. Residents of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Municipality of the District of Chester and Region of Queens Municipality will receive reminder notifications to take the test through several methods, including postcards at key locations in the community, flyers, social media posts, website posts, and through newspaper and radio. All residents, regardless of whether they have good internet service, poor internet service or no internet service are encouraged to take part in the test. The higher the rate of participation by residents, the more accurate the final data will be, which will provide a map that shows accurately the areas with substandard internet service.

-30-

For further information please contact:

Sarah Kucharski, Communications Officer, MODL
Phone: (902) 541-1328

Erin Lowe, Economic Development Officer, Municipality of Chester
Phone: (902) 275-2599

Heather Cook, Communications and Engagement Coordinator, Region of Queens Municipality
Phone: (902) 354-5741