SLT, Sri Lanka’s monolithic fixed-line internet provider, has voluntarily endorsed the Sri Lankan, TRC-developed internet speed benchmarking system. It’s a service internally developed by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka to benchmark internet speeds offered by local operators to subscribers. This is freely available to the public in the form of an online tool that uses two TRCSL-controlled dedicated servers (one in the US and the other in Germany) to measure international download speeds.
SLT’s voluntary acceptance of this system is a major step in endorsement for the TRCSL, which has had this speed testing tool out for some time now. Currently, different operators tout varying speed testing sites, most of which are completely privately controlled, and under no obligation to the public. Speed-testing sites often auto-select servers in India and other neighboring countries to display higher speed results. This makes for an unreliable benchmark, since the majority of web services (Google, Yahoo, and others) are hosted on US and European servers.
It’s widely anticipated that when and if other local operators accept the TRCSL benchmark system, Sri Lankan internet users – no matter what network or service they use – will have access to an independent, verifiable benchmark service that actually measures download speeds that matter.
In a VeriSign-esque turn, the service link (and the operator’s acceptance of it) is symbolized by a unique TRCSL seal. So if your internet provider has this on their main page, that means they’ve officially accepted this particular facility for speed benchmarking.
This service was developed as a step towards the regulator’s recently developed “Fair Broker’s Role” policy, stated Mr. Sanath Siriwardene, a TRCSL consultant. In this role, local internet providers are bound to make available certain verifiable services to the customer such as usage tracking and web metering. If the majority of the local operators follow suit, the unified speed benchmarking system may very well be a reality in the future.