What is fixed wireless?
Fixed wireless is used to describe a broadband service that uses wireless technology to connect a home to the Internet with an outdoor antenna as opposed to a coaxial cable, fibre or copper wires. This means that if your Internet modem connects to your service provider without wires or cables, but is using an outdoor antenna, you have fixed wireless Internet service.
Fixed wireless is different from mobile wireless. Typically, fixed wireless service is only available at the subscribers’ home and relies on an outdoor antenna, while mobile wireless can be accessed from anywhere the service provider operates.
Do I qualify for free enrollment?
To ensure fair representation and accuracy in our data, we need to have equal coverage all over the country. This means we will be keeping an eye out for volunteers with a fixed wireless internet package with certain postal codes and packages. If you fit our needs, we will send you a Whitebox for free! All you need to do is plug it in and get tracking.
Discover if you can participate for free by clicking on Sign Up
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for Canadians who have access to a fixed wireless internet service with a speed of 50/10 Mbps.
If your profile meets the above requirements, you will receive a Whitebox.
If you have access to a fixed wireless service but have subscribed to a speed lower than 50/10 Mbps, we invite you to fill out the questions in the registration form to better understand why you do not have access to this service or understand why you chose a different plan. The number of free Whiteboxes is limited. If we have already filled the necessary quota for volunteers, you might not be selected.
When will I receive my Test Kit?
If you're chosen, we'll send you an email to confirm where we should dispatch your Test Kit. This can take a little time as we have lots of people signing up, so don't despair if we don't get back to you immediately.
The Test Kits should be delivered in March 2023
How is data collected for the Measuring Broadband Canada project?
A device known as a Whitebox is connected to a volunteer’s home modem or router and monitors the broadband performance when no one is using the Internet connection. This performance data is made available to the volunteer via a Web portal and is also available to the CRTC and ISED.
Several performance indicators are measured, including Internet speed, latency and web access times. The data used to measure Internet speed is taken from the location of the service provider to your doorstep. It does not test for Internet speed within different parts of your home. There are many factors that may impact broadband speed and user experience inside the home compared to broadband performance up to the doorstep of the home.
Factors that may impact broadband performance include:
- Inside your home:
o Number of devices in use at the same time
o Faulty equipment (e.g. router)
o Poor Wi-Fi connectivity
- Outside your home:
o Heavy internet traffic on a particular site
o The time it takes for data to travel to and from its destination (e.g. latency)
o The amount of data packets that travel from their destination but fail to reach your home (e.g. packet loss).
What tests does the Whitebox run?
What tests does the Whitebox run?
The SamKnows Whitebox focuses on your internet performance metrics only. It runs tests on a regular schedule and is not affected by outside factors.
All the test results from your Whitebox can be viewed on your personalized SamKnows One dashboard. On SamKnows One, you can analyze your results, customize your charts, monitor performance over time, export reports to share, and so much more.
Each month, you will receive a personalized e-report card, which gives you an update on your internet performance results over time as well as internet performance-related news and updates.
Measuring Broadband Canada runs the following SamKnows Whitebox tests:
- Download Speed
- Upload Speed
- Packet Loss
- Website Loading Time
Learn more about the engineering behind the SamKnows tests
What are download and upload speeds?
The download speed is the speed at which data can be transferred from the internet to your computer. The upload speed is the speed at which data can be transferred from your computer to the internet. They are measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
The download and upload speeds correspond to the package your internet service provider (ISP) listed when you purchased your broadband service. You'll have a figure for your download speed (e.g. up to 50Mbps) and one for your upload speed (e.g. up to 10Mbps). These can be the same or different. Upload speed is generally lower than download speed.
What are latency and packet loss?
When your data is sent over a network it is broken down into little ”packets”. Latency is the total amount of time it takes for a packet of data to travel from your computer to the test server and back to your computer. The lower the latency, the more responsive the service may appear.
Packet loss is the number of packets sent over a network that were unsuccessful in reaching their destination. It is like sending a document composed of several pages, one page at a time. If you don’t receive all the pages, you won’t understand the content of the document.
High packet loss will severely impact media services and online gaming applications.
For most use cases, packet loss above 2% will be noticeable by users.
How do I install my Whitebox?
The Whitebox is easy to install. Please refer to the installation instructions here.
Will the Whitebox fix my internet problems?
No. The Whitebox accurately measures the performance of your internet under a variety of metrics. All of your test results can be viewed on your SamKnows One dashboard. You can also export and download these metrics as a report, which you can then share with your internet service provider. Your ISP can use these metrics to identify areas of weakness and investigate the source of the problem and fix it. This way, you can seek to ensure that you are receiving the quality of service you expect from your Internet service package.
How do I view my test results?
You can view your test results on the SamKnows One dashboard.
When you sign up, you share your email address and create a password. These are your SamKnows One login details.
You will also be emailed a monthly e-report card, which will summarize your internet performance results.
What about my privacy?
The focus of this project is to improve Canada’s internet performance. To do this, the CRTC and ISED are conducting research, through SamKnows, to understand how Canadians all over the country are experiencing internet performance. This means that SamKnows will be collecting internet performance data, to share with the CRTC and ISED. That’s it.
Every organization involved takes Canadians' privacy seriously. Rest assured, the only things that SamKnows, the CRTC and ISED can see about your internet is its service quality in numbers. Nothing more.
Any personal data that you provide to SamKnows to participate in the Measuring Broadband Canada project - such as your name, email, address, internet service provider and package - is held in complete confidentiality by SamKnows and is entirely anonymized in any analysis or reports which will be received by the CRTC and ISED. The CRTC and ISED will only be using the metrics from your test results, not the personal information you may provide to SamKnows.
Improving Canada’s internet is a team effort, and the SamKnows, CRTC and ISED teams are working together under a strict set of rules designed to protect the privacy of Canadians.
Will my monthly data cap be affected?
No. If you decide to join the Measuring Broadband Canada project your monthly limit will not be changed by your internet service provider.
Will my monthly data usage be affected?
Yes. Tests will contribute toward monthly data usage but will not noticeably interfere with your internet speed. Tests are conduct automatically only when your Internet connection is not actively being used.