The Office of the Communications Authority ("OFCA") has commissioned Hong Kong Internet eXchange Limited ("HKIX") to design, establish, operate, support and maintain a system for provision of broadband performance test service in Hong Kong (the "System").

The System is designed to handle broadband performance tests within the territory of Hong Kong and enables broadband service users to measure the performance of their broadband connections on the following aspects –

Download speed

The rate at which data is transferred from the test server to the user device.

Upload speed

The rate at which data is transferred from the user device to the test server.

Network latency

The total time it takes to transfer a data packet from the user device to the test server and then to transfer back to the user device.

Packet loss

The percentage of data packets lost with respect to the data packets transferred from the user device to the test server.

Jitter

The variation in the delay of data packets received.

Users may carry out broadband performance tests via OFCA's website ("test website") at http://speedtest.ofca.gov.hk, or through mobile software applications ("mobile apps") installed on devices running on iOS or Android mobile operating systems. The mobile apps can be downloaded for free through the following channels -

iOS version: iTunes App Store

Android version: Google Play

While the test website and mobile apps are available free of charge, users should be mindful of additional service charges which may be incurred from the data usage involved in performing broadband performance test. In particular, if users are located outside Hong Kong, they may need to bear additional service charges for the data usage and the charges payable may be substantial.

Mobile Data Usage Involved in Performing Test

The data usage involved in performing broadband performance test through mobile apps varies with the speed of mobile broadband connection under test. For instance, it may vary from several megabytes ("MBytes") for a 128 kilobits per second ("kbps") mobile broadband connection to several hundreds of MBytes for an ultra high speed (300 megabits per second ("Mbps") or above) connection. Users are advised to keep track of their data usage from time to time in order to avoid any unnecessary mobile service charges.

Factors Affecting the Test Results

The speed measured by the System may be lower than those claimed and provided by broadband service providers ("BSPs") in their service plans ("claimed speed") due to various factors which may include, but not limited to -

  • End-to-End Speed – The claimed speed commonly refers to the maximum permissible speed supported by the connection between the BSPs and their customers, which may be only part of the end-to-end route under test and may not be representative of the end-to-end speed;

  • Overhead – When data are being delivered to and from the users over the broadband connection, there is overhead being introduced by the transmission and service platforms of the BSPs on top of the actual data being delivered and this may cause some degradation in the performance;

  • Network Conditions – The Internet is shared by numerous users and applications. Performance of a particular broadband connection is inevitably affected by the traffic being generated by these other users and applications;

  • Associated Services – The associated services provided by the BSPs may take up certain capacity of the broadband connection. For instance, if there are other services (e.g. Internet Protocol ("IP") television service) sharing the same broadband connection at the same time, the performance of the broadband connection may be adversely affected;

  • Number of Concurrent Users/Applications – The performance will be affected by the number of concurrent users or applications (e.g. Over-the-Top or "OTT" application) sharing the same broadband connection;

  • Relative Position between the User Device and the Service Platform – The physical distance between the user device and BSPs’ equipment, especially in the case of mobile services, may affect the performance. In general, the closer the user device is to the mobile base station of a BSP, the better will be the performance of the mobile broadband connection;

  • Software Running on User Device – Some software such as firewalls or anti-virus applications may affect the performance of the broadband connection. User may need to temporarily disable or even uninstall the software in question before performing the test; and

  • Configurations of User Device – For high speed broadband connections with speed up to 1000 Mbps or above, the measured speeds may be limited by the user device under test. In order to conduct the test with accurate result, the minimum recommended requirements are Core i7 CPU at 3 GHz, 6 gigabytes random access memory, 1000-BaseT Ethernet port, operating with Microsoft Windows 7 and using Internet Explorer 11, or an equivalent setup.

To ensure that the System can accurately measure the speed of fixed broadband connection provided by a BSP, the computer running the test is recommended to be connected to the customer termination point of the BSP at the customer premises through a direct cable connection to avoid any bottleneck which may be introduced by other network equipment. Depending on the minimum requirement for the transfer of test file, a minimum speed of 512 kbps for fixed broadband connection may apply.

Data Speed Required for User Applications

Data speed generally refers to how fast data are transmitted to/from user equipment or device. It is usually measured in units of Mbps or kbps. 1 Mbps equals 1000 kbps. Downloading a song of 4 MBytes requires less than 40 seconds at a data speed of 1 Mbps while downloading the same song will require a longer duration of about five minutes at a data speed of 128 kbps.

The following table lists some examples of user applications and the required data speed -

Applications Required data speed*
Listening to an on-line Internet radio program or on-line music 128 kbps or above
Streaming of a low definition video 300 kbps or above
Streaming of a high definition video 1 Mbps or above
Email/text messaging, social networking, web browsing Non real-time applications in general are not time or speed sensitive. Depending on the volume of transmitted information, the time required will be different.

* Actual required data speed depends on the quality of streaming media

Personal Information Collection Statement

The System will record test results through the test website and mobile apps without collecting any personal identifiable information of users. Such test records are collected for the compilation of statistical reports and the diagnosis of problems with or concerning computer systems to help improve the test website and mobile apps.

When you perform test through the test website or mobile apps, the System will collect and record data obtained from the test results, including upload and download speed, network latency, packet loss, jitter, connection type, device type and IP address, as the case may be.

The data collected by the test website and mobile apps are secured and access to them is restricted to authorised personnel only. For details about OFCA's Privacy Policy, please visit https://www.ofca.gov.hk/en/privacy_policy/index.html.

Web and Mobile App Accessibility

OFCA is committed to ensuring that the test website and mobile apps have adopted accessibility design to the maximum extent possible. However, the test website or mobile apps may not incorporate all accessibility features. If you wish to have information in a format accessible to you, please let us know by email to webmaster@ofca.gov.hk.


DISCLAIMER

Whilst HKIX has used its best endeavour to ensure the accuracy of the measurement results produced by the System, no warranty or guarantee, express or implied, is given as to the accuracy of the results. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the "Government"), the Communications Authority and OFCA accept no liability for error or omission and shall not be liable for any claim, loss or damage, howsoever caused, arising from the conducting or inability of conducting the broadband performance test or use of or reliance upon any information or material provided by the System.

 

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