SamKnows has partnered with the European Commission to supply Maltese consumers with a standalone device called Whitebox (enabled routers) to measure broadband performance across Malta. SamKnows is now looking for 1,000 volunteers in Malta to join the research, which is part of a pan-European project spread across all EU Member States and three other countries, namely Croatia, Iceland and Norway.
As a token of gratitude, SamKnows is offering the first 500 volunteers that register to take part in this pan-European research, the chance to win an iPad2. Volunteers can sign up through an online registration form found at http://www.samknows.eu/mt/ipad
Seeing a need for accurate measurement of internet services across the EU, SamKnows developed the Whitebox, which any consumer can plug into their home network and test the broadband performance provided by their respective Internet Service Provider (ISP). The Whitebox runs a series of network performance tests against a schedule that has been designed to gather as much data as possible, without interrupting the network flow.
The Whitebox plugs into the home network by simply connecting it to the existing home router/gateway and plug any fixed connections into the Whitebox. This device monitors the home network traffic levels to ensure that the tests only run when the user is not using the internet. The Whitebox does not collect any personal information, or take any data on what is actually being done online.
Selected volunteers signing up will be sent a free Whitebox to plug into their home internet connection. When the broadband line is not in use, the Whitebox will run a series of automated tests to measure the speed and performance of the connection. This will help build a pan-European picture of broadband provision to enable planning for the future, and offer transparency for consumers paying for broadband connectivity.
Furthermore, users will also get a monthly Report Card on the performance of their ISP that compares what the actual data flow is, with what has been bought and benchmarked against the whole panel. This report card can be used by ISPs to diagnose any issues with connections and improve the performance.