Who want to optimise national internet performance
The world's leading national broadband study solution
For over 10 years, we’ve been conducting large-scale measurement studies for regulators to help improve internet performance for everyone, to ensure good service from densely populated cities to far-reaching rural areas.
Our National Studies are an open forum for industry-wide collaboration
Delivering broadband to millions of citizens uses a complex web of networks built on top of networks, spanning the whole planet. Everyone in the industry relies on dependencies beyond their control to deliver the services their customers pay for. There’s clear advantages for an industry with such interdependencies to have open collaboration between the major players. When SamKnows takes on a national study, the first thing we do is get all the stakeholders together in a workshop to explain our methodology and how everyone would benefit from working together.
Help improve national infrastructure
Solving national-level network issues requires the technical experience of ISPs, the diplomacy of government regulators, and the neutral and fair data from SamKnows.
Optimise international connectivity
Testing to nearest test servers is useful, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the internet performance to real content servers around the world. We test to all major applications and services to help you optimise your connections to the rest of the world.
The key principles of our National Studies
The SamKnows platform is run, managed, developed and hosted by SamKnows – ensuring it is completely independent.
Any data collected must be accurate, to ensure results are reliable, valid and trusted by all stakeholders participating in the project.
Data collected is owned by the regulator, with no restrictions on usage.
Best in Class
Our methodology is open to review by industry experts, academics, key stakeholders and standards boards ensures it is the best-in-class for measuring real consumer experience.
Internet measurement programs should bring about real and meaningful improvements for a country.
We use government grade systems and test agents designed to safeguard user privacy and focus on measurement data only.
Measurements should be based on applications and services that real people use, giving a broader and truer sense of the state of the internet.
Reporting and analysis should provide insight and understanding, helping educate consumers or used to drive change.
Measuring a dynamic industry means constant innovation. This ensures that regulators measure what really matters and have data on key trends.
A responsive, experienced team that can adapt to the regulator’s requirements is imperative in ensuring critical data can be captured and used.
Free from Marketing
Regulatory programs should not be vehicles through which to advertise or market goods. Testing agents should be freely available and designed for purpose.
Neutral and fair information for all to see
Regulators have the power to create positive change by publishing neutral and fair information for all to see. It can promote investment and stimulate competition. Our expert consultants specialise in helping regulators create monthly, annual and special reports to publish.
Our open and transparent testing methodology allows you to compare ISP performance, regional, application, and different connection technologies.
Publishing your findings will help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
Neutral and fair benchmarking encourages third parties to make significant investments in the market by using performance data to identify and measure strategic enhancements.
Publish strategic reports
Provide a single source of truth to inform discussions around national network performance. Define strategic long-term goals and track year-on-year progress.
Monitor regulatory compliance
Policies are created to protect consumers and stay competitive on a global stage. To enforce your regulations fairly you need a reliable independent source of data collected using a testing methodology and everyone can trust. Ensure compliance with existing or new regulations by monitoring national performance data in real time.
Make sure ISPs are delivering on their promises, and track the difference between advertised and actual speeds in real-time.
Enable consumer complaints to be resolved faster, and with greater satisfaction, by providing an independent metric with environmental information that supports further investigation.
Helping America solve the digital divide
The MBA is an ongoing program that tests fixed-line and mobile- internet performance throughout the United States. A collaborative project; the MBA involves ISPs, academics, consumer groups and industry stakeholders, publishing annual reports that provide a performance benchmark. The data from the mobile MBA project is used in the Broadband Data Collection (https://www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData) effort to help improve America’s broadband availability maps and ensure a higher level of accuracy.
Our suite of 280 metrics from 26 tests measure all key aspects of a home user’s internet connection, and the methodology from both projects is openly published by the FCC and SamKnows as is the fixed data set!
A big focus of this project is solving the Digital Divide, a term used to describe the gap in reliable access to fast internet between highly populated places and rural areas in the U.S.. There is a true cause of concern in America that these rural areas will be left behind, as ISPs are slow to provision networks there, due to the increased cost. This is why a lot of the attention on the Broadband Data Collection project (BDC) is put towards resolving this.
New Zealand's Fibre customers get a huge performance boost
In 2018, the Commerce Commission appointed SamKnows to launch a project to measure internet performance across New Zealand. The program, named Measuring Broadband New Zealand tests fixed line performance for internet users in the country. A collaborative project, it involves industry and consumer groups and released the latest report in June 2021.
Our suite of 280 metrics from 26 tests measure all key aspects of a home user’s internet connection. A key goal for Measuring Broadband New Zealand is to improve fibre performance.
A study into why the fastest residential broadband product available to New Zelanders was underperforming, led to a collaborative investigation between the Commerce Commission, SamKnows, and industry to find the underlying cause.
Following the investigation and some network changes made by the wholesale provider and RSPs in New Zealand a dramatic improvement in performance was observed. Prior to the changes only 35% of customers received over 800 Mbps for a service that has a headline speed of 950Mbps. After the changes the improvements were marked, with 78% of customers now receiving over 800Mbps!
Monitoring Quality of Experience on Australia's National Broadband Network
In 2017, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) appointed SamKnows to launch a project to measure internet performance across the country. The program, named Measuring Broadband Australia, gives internet users in Australia access to SamKnows Whiteboxes to measure quality of experience of fixed-line internet.
Fixed broadband measurements looking at download, upload, latency, jitter, packet loss, DNS, website-loading times, quality of experience of fixed-line internet. The methodology for the project is openly published by the ACCC and SamKnows as is the fixed data set.
The program has evolved so much since 2017, at the beginning it was tracking ADSL vs Fibre but it evolved into tracking Fibre and Fixed wireless performance as well as most recently very high services that include 1 gig services.
The ACCC publishes quarterly reports under the MBA program and this is usually picked up by the press and the media, as it’s always evolving the focus of the reports changes and is usually topical to what is happening in the country, particularly the time series chart in the last few reports show interesting facts on how the internet held up in Australia during Covid.
Moving content closer to consumers helps power the digital economy
CITC commissioned a project to measure internet performance over fixed networks across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The goals of this project are to build a trusted, independent benchmark of internet performance in the Kingdom, and to identify areas for improvement. Tests include: Download and upload speed, latency, packet loss, jitter, and YouTube performance for fixed-line broadband. The methodology used is openly published by SamKnows.
The project helped reinforce the idea that the closer the content is to the country the better the performance is, there’s been great improvement since the project inception to bring content closer to the Kingdom. The project is very active in uploading server locations and testing to the closest server, we noticed several times that game publishers are adding more and more content closer to the country to get better performance.
The project launched a Game Mode report that is highly publicized and tracks the game performance across the Kingdom by ISP. A major focus of this project is to improve gaming performance. The report is highly anticipated and popular and is published on a quarterly basis.
Neutral and fair speed test apps for Hong Kong
OFCA commissioned a project to measure internet performance over fixed and mobile networks across Hong Kong. The goals of this project are to provide citizens of Hong Kong with a trusted tool to measure internet performance across the island.
SamKnows supplies a web-based test and mobile applications for iOS and Android. Tests include download and upload speed, latency, packet loss, jitter for mobile and fixed-line broadband. The methodology used is openly published by SamKnows
The OFCA speed test app has been incredibly successful and is very widely used across Hong Kong. To date there have been over 150,000 downloads of the app across Android and iOS. Over 4.5 million download tests have been run on the OFCA Performance App across iOS and Android.
The world’s first independent, multi-ISP internet performance study
Measuring Broadband UK has provided a consistent benchmark of internet speeds and tracked dramatic improvements over time. Today, the primary focus is to regulate marketing claims and improve network infrastructure by running fixed measurement programs.
Our suite of 280 metrics from 26 tests measure all key aspects of a home user’s internet connection. Tests include: All SamKnows QoE and QoS tests run across the panel includes gaming, social media, video conferencing and online gaming. The methodology from both projects is openly published by Ofcom and SamKnows as is the fixed data set.
An innovative initiative from the beginning, the program has grown to become a vital pillar of internet regulation and competition in the United Kingdom. This year the program took another innovative step by combining panel data from SamKnows Whiteboxes with embedded data from the many millions of SamKnows Agents embedded directly into ISP routers across the largest ISPs in the U.K. This can be seen in the Ofcom latest report. The data from this report will go on to regulate internet performance throughout the U.K. and encourage healthy competition.
Customised monitoring solution
The key to our highly regarded national studies is the rigorous testing methodology we developed with the world’s leading tech firms, telecom operators, academics and government bodies. It’s been validated over many years of regulatory work around the world and is considered the Internet Measurement Standard.
For each study we build a custom Measurement Platform. It consists of dedicated test agents for fixed and cellular broadband, test servers in key locations, a suite of tests for all the things you want to measure, and our super-fast data pipeline that connects everything together in real-time. Our platform is highly configurable and can grow with the scope of the study over time.
Testing to nearest test servers is useful, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the internet performance to real content servers around the world. We test to all major applications and services to help you understand true Quality of Experience.
Branded and customised to your requirements, Crowdsource app is a fast and easy way to generate a huge dataset of fixed and cellular broadband from all around the country.
SamKnows Whiteboxes can be installed in the volunteers home network, to accurately monitor the service provided. Completely tamper-proof and capable of measuring speeds up to 1 Gbps.
When we set up a National Study of broadband performance, we recruit volunteers all across the country from major ISPs and their various broadband packages. The data these volunteers help collect is published in annual public reports that aim to drive investment, improve performance, and supply consumers with reliable unbiased information about the relative performance of ISPs, connection technologies, and online applications in their country.
At the last count we had 145,833 volunteers around the world contributing data to our various National Studies.
In exchange for volunteering their internet performance data, they also get access to SamKnows ConnectedHome – which allows them to monitor their own home connection with a precision measurement kit that is not usually available to the public.
Our team of experts have been analysing internet performance data for over ten years. If you need help with sorting through data to find the most valuable insights, you can rely on us.
Our Director of Government and Academia oversees all our regulator projects at SamKnows. During her 7 years at the company she has worked with regulators in over 37 countries, implementing a range of SamKnows products. Rolling out both fixed line studies (using the SamKnows Whitebox or SamKnows SDK) and mobile broadband projects has provided a deep knowledge of the practicalities of running projects as well as an understanding of the major goals and challenges regulators face. Roxanne makes strategic insights using the vast amount of data collected to help improve broadband provision in-country, benchmark operators as well as providing data that helps audit coverage maps and provide vital information on connectivity after disaster events.