Google today announced a new project designed to test the quality and connection speeds of internet service providers. The service, known as Google’s Video Quality Report, will be available in Canada first, though it should expand to more countries as time progresses.
To perform the test, Google uses data related to how well the ISP can handle playing back a high definition YouTube video. The ISPs are graded based on the performance of other providers in a given area. If the ISP is able to load 90% of 720p YouTube videos, then it will be branded as “YouTube HD Verified” for the area and be at the top of the verification scale.
Speaking to the Financial Post, Shiva Rajaraman, director of product management at YouTube, said that Google has two goals with its new Video Quality Report service.
“We wanted to give users a measure of performance that they can truly understand … the other side is we felt this would be beneficial for ISPs too, because now they can describe their service and the various product offerings and price points they might have to their customers in a way that they can truly understand: You can access YouTube in HD on my ISP, or not. We would love [ISPs] to use the badge if it makes sense for their marketing objectives. Again, to the extent that YouTube matters to their subscribers … from an ISP’s perspective, we wanted to give them a factual way to present that information to their subscribers.”
After a user performs the test, Google presents them with a graph showing the video streaming quality based on the time of day, in addition to saying whether it is HD Verified or not. Users are also given the ability to compare against other ISPs in their area. According to Google, most Canadian ISPs performed quite well on the test. Because of this, it says that Canada could be one of the first “HD verified countries”, which is why the company chose to launch the service there first.