EC to test broadband performance across member states

Hand holding cable, ThinkStock images
Image caption The study aims to get a picture of broadband quality across Europe

The European Commission is launching a major new study of broadband performance across Europe.

The project, led by measurement firm SamKnows, aims to give a clear picture of speeds and reliability of net services in all member states.

ISPs, regulators and consumers will have access to the results when they are completed.

The European Commission is seeking 10,000 volunteers for the project.

Volunteers will be sent a small device - known as the whitebox - which will plug into their home internet connection.

When the broadband line is not in use, the whitebox will run a series of automated tests to measure the speed and performance of the connection.

SamKnows conducted a similar project with Ofcom in the UK and found that broadband performance was less than 50% of advertised speeds.

Alex Salter, chief executive of SamKnows, said the test would be a large-scale version of the UK project.

"We are working towards a standard for measuring internet performance and a public dataset that everyone can access," he said.

"This is vital for everything from major government investment initiatives through to helping consumers choose which broadband provider and package," he added.

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