Prague, 17 May 2016 – Netmetr is a service run jointly by CZ.NIC association and CTU. The service is intended to be used by wider public which can thus test the speed and general quality of their Internet connection anytime. The results of the measurement are available (anonymously) as open data for subsequent assessment by anybody interested. This service is a tool for the CTU allowing it to detect potential problems with the Internet connection and to examine them using its own professional measuring procedures.
The users can apply the Netmetr service in two ways: through mobile application available for Android and iOS platforms and through any browser. The consumer thus receives a tool for immediate testing of the quality of their connection. Retrieved results can be immediately compared with average results reached by particular operators.
In case of using browser, the service measures the average available speed and the latency (so-called ping) of the connection used by consumer in the very moment. Therefore, this can be fixed as well as mobile (resp. nomadic) connection.
In case of using mobile application on a cell phone, the strength of signal of the mobile network can be measured, and other parameters of this network (like concrete technology for data transmission, location of the base station and the user terminal) can be assessed as well. On the Android platform the user can ask for carrying out of a detailed connection quality test which checks meeting the net neutrality rules (so-called NDT test).
Results provided by the Netmetr service need to be understood as potential abilities of the connection on which the measurement is performed. Not as a speed which the user will reach while using his connection in practice – e.g. watching a video, downloading files, transmission of electronic mail etc.
The basic idea lies in the principle of the measuring itself: the principle is to assess the transmission between the user’s terminal equipment and the gauging servers located in peering centre NIX.CZ. This method works with information about the “last mile” speed (the speed of the user’s terminal connection) as well as the dimensioning for the network of the respective provider. On the contrary it eliminates the influence of a concrete data source which can be located off the provider’s network and its scope and in practice to behave as so-called bottleneck (influencing negatively the general transmission speed and availability of service).
With help of the Netmetr service any user can assess the potential and general quality of his connection himself. The results from various users of the same provider together thus predicate about this provider’s network potential. But such “general view” of the potential of a certain network can be influenced by other factors as well. For example, by machine-repeated measurements which influence the consequent averages, or by various purpose-built measurements.
To prevent such purpose-built influences especially in case of mobile networks the Netmetr service is using two sets of provisions for “cleaning” the data obtained by measuring. The first set of provisions marks as “untrustworthy” those results, which somehow don’t meet the posed requirements. E.g. when the results are not properly finished, they don’t correspond with the used technology etc. The second set of provisions is aggregation of multiple measurements: all measurements made in the same area shortly one after another (in a short time interval) are aggregated (merged) into one measurement with an average of the obtained values.
The results of all measurements done by Netmetr service are available as so-called open data accessible on Netmetr website. Of course, the data is published after anonymisation (after removal of all data enabling to identify particular user). This data then can be used by anybody interested.
All the obtained data are really part of the open data set. The cleaning process is displayed by marking the data as “trustworthy” or “untrustworthy” and by stating a reason for the latter.
The CTU hopes that the Netmetr service will be a useful tool not only for the wide public but that its usage will be appreciated by operators as well, because they will get a very fast feedback about the quality of their networks.