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Government of Guernsey Conduct “Secret” Broadband Speedtests?

Friday, July 25th, 2014 (3:30 pm) - Score 1,177
channel islands guernsey and jersey uk

A new report today claims that the States of Guernsey (Channel Islands) has conducted a so-called “secret” pilot in order to monitor the performance of broadband connections (obviously), albeit apparently without local ISPs being told.

According to the BBC, some 20 local homes were involved in the pilot and more could be included if the results turn out to be useful. However anyone can conduct a speedtest at home, be it via modified hardware or a simple web-based test, and the ISPs probably won’t know about it and certainly don’t need to give their permission for it either.

The use of the word secret implies something that we shouldn’t know about and to be honest we’d be more surprised if the local authority wasn’t even bothering to conduct such tests. In this instance it appears as if the islands Government are investigating the quality of local connectivity to “see if issues reported were part of wider problems“, which could result in some ISPs being held to account.

Unfortunately the BBC don’t say precisely what the “issues” are (traffic throttling, general speed problems etc.) or which ISPs have been tested. Guernsey itself is home to around 65,000 people and is served by operators like Sure and JT (Jersey Telecom). JT in particular are currently spending £7 million on the island to roll-out a Gigabit capable fibre optic broadband network across several thousand premises and a similar deployment on Jersey has already caused competition concerns (here).

In fairness it’s not really a “secret” anymore either since, after a little digging, we noticed that the local authority already appears to mention it in public.

Guernsey’s Economic Development Framework Update (Extracted Quote)

The Department has commenced constructive discussions with the telecommunications operators on working towards published service standards for broadband, and has also worked in collaboration with CICRA to assess the resilience and service performance of home users through a research pilot study undertaken by specialist technical consultants.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Tomo

    Slow news day?

  2. Avatar James Harrison

    The actual story here: none of the BDUK projects are actually measuring real world performance of delivered projects. When someone does, it’s news!

    (You can get stuff procured through govt with actual performance numbers – we will be doing RFC2544/ITU-T Y.1564 testing next couple of months on our project to ensure delivery is to spec!)

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