Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) will not only conduct surveys and tests for the quality of service under the new quality of service (QoS) regulations, but all Broadband Service Providers shall carry out quarterly testing of the quality of service of their Broadband services being provided to the consumers and the records of which shall be submitted to PTA as and when required.
To know key performance indicators as per best international practices, PTA intends to implement and execute the National Broadband Measurement Program (NMB) under new regulations. This shall be a recurring program that the Authority may plan and execute when required under special circumstances.
PTA shall execute the new program through its officers/authorized representatives or an appointed agency. Under new regulations, PTA shall also be authorized to implement this program through an automated machine designed for it and dedicated applications, etc., called “NMB Partners.”
This survey shall gauge the performance of broadband service in the country with the aim to improve the availability of broadband services to consumers and the program will be built on principles of openness and transparency. The Methodology for the National Measurement of Broadband (NMB) programs survey shall be as follows:
Through media outreach, PTA and NMB Partners/BSP shall select a group of consumers to volunteer.
PTA, NMB Partners, in consultation with BSPs, shall select the panel of the volunteers from the large pool of prospective participants according to a plan designed to generate a representative sample of desired consumer demographics, including geographical location, ISP, and speed tier. The goal is to cover the maximum number of BSPs and broadband technologies, i.e., DSL, cable, fiber-to-the-home, fixed terrestrial wireless, and satellite, provided that the confidentiality of information of a volunteer shall be ensured during the testing by the respective BSP.
For measuring fixed broadband speed, a dedicated device pre-configured with custom testing software for measuring internet performance shall be provided and placed inside the volunteering consumer’s homes by BSPs, directly connected to the customer end router via Ethernet cable to directly access fixed internet service being delivered to the home. All the KPIs included in these Regulations shall be measured Every Other Hour, 24/7, and after getting the results of thousands of Off-Net and On-Net tests, the results shall be calculated, compiled, and reported to Authority, as per the format specified by the Authority.
The testing equipment having built-in storage capacity not accessible to the user, and having the LAN interfaces of at least 1 Gbps speed, Wi-Fi radios supporting 802.11n/ac/ax standards, shall be capable to interact with On-Net and Off-Net testing servers, along with the capability to fetch the complete list of test servers upon first execution of the test batch and performs a simple round trip time measurement to each.
The device shall select the test server with the lowest round trip time to test against from that point forward. Testing measurement servers (with adequate computing, storage, and networking capabilities) having installed the test scheduler, along with reporting databases, and other testing probes involved in the survey and firewall shall be provided by the BSPs, at its own cost at premises designated by the Authority.
The relevant BSP page 21 of 23 shall provide the Authority with access to such equipment in real-time for the information generated by these systems. The Authority may depute its representatives to be present at the quality tests and surveys carried out by the BSPs.