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ComReg to launch its own online test for broadband speeds

The Communications Regulator tool will allow users to test whether they’re getting the speeds they signed up for.

Websites like SpeedTest.net already allow users to check their actual internet speed - but do not compare this to the advertised speed.
Websites like SpeedTest.net already allow users to check their actual internet speed - but do not compare this to the advertised speed.

IRELAND’S INTERNET USERS will shortly be able to use an official government tool to determine whether their connection speeds are as fast as they should be.

The communications regulator, ComReg, says it plans to launch the tool later this year.

The state-run test will allow users to check exactly how quickly their connection is working – and to see whether the connection being delivered by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) is as fast as the connection they should be getting for the price they pay.

It is intended that the data would then be compiled and available to other users to browse – so that someone shopping around for an internet connection could see how different ISPs compare in terms of their advertised speeds versus the speeds actually delivered.

Commissioner Kevin O’Brien said the initiative would “provide greater clarity to customers in relation to the real broadband speeds received”.

While there are already several online speed tests, allowing users to check the effective bandwidth of their connections – with speedtest.net the most popular – ComReg’s  est would mark the first time that an official State body will have gathered and published data relating to individual ISPs.

The closest similar service already in operation is data compiled by streaming service Netflix, which logs the ISP of each visitor and ranks them by speed.

The service’s latest data for April, published yesterday, lists Magnet as the fastest ISP, ahead of UPC, Digiweb, Eircom and Vodafone.

That data does not distinguish between the advertised speeds of the connections that customers have signed up to, however – something which may be better determined by ComReg’s tool.

Read: How fast are Irish internet service providers? Here’s what Netflix says

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Gavan Reilly

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