Ottawa, ON – March 14, 2017 – The City of Ottawa has launched an Internet Performance Test (IPT) in partnership with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). The test allows users to learn about qualitative aspects of their Internet connections, including speed, performance, and compliance with standards. That same information will be aggregated and used by the City of Ottawa to better understand the state of Internet service across the municipality. Obtaining good data requires broad community involvement, so the city is encouraging all businesses and residents to participate.
Users can test their Internet connections now, at https://performance.cira.ca/Ottawa.
Specific initiatives the municipality hopes to support by participating in the IPT include:
- Service delivery – understanding the Internet landscape in Ottawa to better tailor digital services across the city. Test findings could help the city understand what forms of online interaction are possible (or preferable) in different areas of the city. For example, participating high-bandwidth activities such as in videoconferencing, streaming video, or virtual reality environments may not be possible in areas where Internet connectivity is insufficient.
- Smart City – understanding the digital capacity of the city to pursue these types of digital initiatives. Ottawa already has several components of Smart City technology initiatives throughout the city, from smart traffic management tools, asset tracking, LED lighting and smart buildings, to the high-tech sector building Smart City applications and leading-edge technology products, which are dependent on a robust Internet infrastructure.
- Rural connectivity – Given Ottawa's unique geography as both an urban and rural city, there is a perception that Ottawa's rural communities are not as well connected as other parts of the city, which can present challenges in terms of providing city services. The IPT should provide insight as to whether such a digital divide exists within Ottawa.
- Business attraction/retention – The quality of Internet service is considered a key element to help encourage businesses to open and remain in the city. Information gleaned from the test will help with economic development activities by understanding if access to high-speed broadband is sufficient to attract business, or if more planning and investment is required.
Like many municipalities in Canada and around the world, Ottawa is embracing the ‘Smart City' movement, and is looking for ways to better understand access to Internet service throughout the city. Access to high-speed broadband has become the de facto baseline for nearly every community, let alone a hub for high-tech activity and innovation like Ottawa. In addition, we are hoping the IPT will help us gain a better understanding of the actual level of rural connectivity and determine the extent of the digital divide.
– Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa
High-performance Internet infrastructure is critical for success in the global economy. This is true both at the macro level, for cities, and on the micro end of the scale for individual residents and businesses. CIRA built our Internet Performance Test to address the needs of both of those stakeholders. Cities can use the test to better understand Internet performance throughout their region and use that information to better attract business and intelligently focus their Smart City initiatives. And individuals can use the IPT to ensure they have the connectivity they need to fully participate in the economic and social benefits available online.
– Dave Chiswell, VP of product development at CIRA
Test your Internet connection today at http://performance.cira.ca/ottawa.
For more information on CIRA's work to help Canadian municipalities address their needs to Internet measurement, visit http://performance.cira.ca.
About the Canadian Internet Registration Authority
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services that help support its goal of building a better online Canada. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest-growing ccTLDs, a high-performance global DNS network, and one of the world's most advanced back-end registry solutions.