Members of the public may now measure the performance of their broadband services using the broadband performance test website launched by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) today (December 23).
The test website measures key performance parameters such as download speed, upload speed, network latency, packet loss and jitter of the broadband services. As the vast majority of users are using broadband services with speeds of up to 100 Mbps, the test website is optimised for measurement under 100 Mbps. Apart from the standard version, a mobile version of the test website is also made available for iPhone and Android phone users to test the speed and network latency of their services. OFTA will work with interested parties to further extend the website to other mobile service platforms and to cater for the measurement of broadband services with speed exceeding 100 Mbps. While the website is made available by OFTA to the public free of charge, users should be mindful that their service providers may charge them for the use of the broadband services to access the website.
All fixed and mobile network operators have posted their broadband service performance pledges on their websites. Fixed network operators have already published their actual performance statistics on a quarterly basis since April 2008. Mobile network operators have, since September 2010, published their performance pledges and will publish their performance on a quarterly basis starting from January 2011.
"With the test website, consumers will be able to measure the performance of their broadband services, and benchmark in an objective manner the measurement result against the service pledges and the performance statistics published by their service providers. This will enhance transparency of broadband performance and enable consumers to better understand the different aspects of the performance of their broadband services," a spokesman for OFTA said.
"Together with the services pledges and performance statistics published by all the major network operators, consumers will be able to make informed choices on their broadband services providers," the spokesman continued.
To ensure impartiality and the accuracy of the performance test, the website is hosted at the Hong Kong Internet Exchange (HKIX), which was set up by the Information Technology Services Centre of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The HKIX has developed itself into a hub for intra-Hong Kong Internet traffic and is connected with all major network operators with high capacity broadband circuits.
"Consumers should nonetheless be aware that the performance of their broadband services may vary from time to time due to the many circumstantial factors that are constantly at work, such as the network loading, user devices deployed, concurrent applications being used during the measurement and for mobile users, the radio coverage where the users are situated. Because of the interaction of these factors, the measured performance may not always match those promoted by the broadband service providers," the spokesman elaborated.
Users may access the broadband performance test website via the official website of OFTA (speedtest.ofta.gov.hk/). The mobile version may be downloaded via iPhones and Android phones by searching "ofta" in the corresponding application store/market.
Ends/Thursday, December 23, 2010
Issued at HKT 19:02