New project to define Internet access2018-07-03
Computer Science at Karlstad University is part of a new project where the Internet Foundation (IIS) and Netnod are gathering operators, technicians and other stakeholders in order to take a common approach in defining Internet access. The purpose is to make it easier for users and service providers to be aware and agree upon what is expected of the access one is paying for.
More and more aspects of society are increasingly dependent upon a stable Internet connection. This is especially relevant to emergency services and health care, where it may be a question of life or death. Where the importance of Internet access increases, the importance of knowing what is included when purchasing an Internet access also increases.
Today, there is a large number of Internet service providers, with a broad range of offers. As a customer, it can be difficult to determine one’s needs and what an offer includes. The focus of today is usually bandwidth, but there are many other variables to consider – such as security, privacy, accessibility and new technologies. This is why IIS and Netnod have initiated a project during 2018 to define Internet access in collaboration with operators. The ambition is to continue with the work and to develop a measuring tool and a certification. See what organisations are part of the work here.
The project started in spring 2018. A kick-off was organised in May, where participants met for the first time. From Karlstad University Anna Brunström, professor of computer science, is part of the project.
The project consists of three successive parts:
1. Producing a definition of Internet access (initiated).
2. Developing a measurement tool for operators and customers to use in measuring Internet access.
3. Introducing a certification that may be used by operators and public institutions in procurements.
What are the possibilities?
Pin-pointing what an Internet access should include will ease the process for procurers and suppliers alike, since there will be clarity in what the customer will get. With the measurement tool that is to be developed, there will also be a way of making sure that one actually gets what one is paying for. In addition, this will make it easier for service developers to know how to design their services from a technical perspective, when opportunities and limitations when it comes to communication and Internet access are fully known.
A definition and certification of Internet access may make future procurements easier in both private and public sectors – especially for those adhering to public procurement regulations (LOU).
The definition and its use might also contribute to that critical government functions and emergency services are guaranteed the Internet access they need to run their operations.