Augusta Township is set to deploy the CIRA Internet Performance Test (IPT), a pioneering initiative aimed at establishing a benchmark for region-wide broadband service planning. Developed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), responsible for Canada’s “.ca” Internet domain name, this innovative tool marks a strategic step toward fostering a more connected digital landscape within the township.
Jeff Shaver, mayor of Augusta Township, emphasized the significance of this endeavour.
“We are dedicated to steering Augusta Township towards a digital future,” Shaver said. “The CIRA IPT will play a pivotal role in identifying areas where broadband infrastructure is needed, thus enhancing service provisions.”
Recognizing the pivotal role of digital access in various sectors such as healthcare, the economy, and sustainability, Mayor Shaver underscored the criticality of broadband in education. He highlighted the current educational landscape where internet connectivity is integral for most high school assignments, addressing the poignant issue often termed the “cruellest gap.”
“With proper planning and benchmarking from the IPT system, we will solve that challenge,” Shaver said.
The IPT operates on a voluntary basis, allowing internet users to engage effortlessly by accessing the IPT URL. With the test swiftly evaluating 100 different facets of network performance, users can gauge their internet speed. This location-specific but anonymous test contributes to a comprehensive map of internet performance across Augusta Township.
“We are excited that Augusta Township is using the IPT,” stated CIRA IPT Program Manager, Jeff Buell. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made access to high quality internet services more important than ever. Augusta Township is showing leadership in its role to shape Canada’s internet in rural areas.”
Terry Dalton, President of i-VALLEY Canada, a partner with CIRA, reflected on the transformative power of the internet, citing its contribution to a global economy exceeding $14 trillion CAD since its inception three decades ago. Dalton emphasized that Augusta Township’s initiative not only grants citizens access to this digital sphere but also ensures ongoing monitoring to achieve equitable coverage.
“The Internet Performance Test will give us information that will help us continue to invest in Internet and create a community in which families choose to live,” Mayor Shaver added.
Beyond assessing network speed, the IPT encompasses approximately 100 internet connection factors, including latency and the compatibility of computers with the latest Internet Protocols. This comprehensive evaluation aims to delineate the ‘digital divide’ prevalent in rural communities, enabling Augusta Township to prioritize areas with inadequate service.
Residents are encouraged to participate in the test via the provided URL (https://performance.cira.ca/Augusta) and commence the assessment by clicking “START.” In instances where users lack internet connectivity entirely, prompt reporting is encouraged, with instructions available on the IPT website for registration. Residents experiencing issues with the test are advised to verify residential service setup.