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24 August 2009

EETT, following several months of cooperation with the Greek Research and Technology Network (GRnet) and the multinational consortia Measurement Lab Partnership (M-Lab / MLP) and Planet Lab Consortium (PLC), has developed a new national infrastructure for measuring the qualitative characteristics of broadband connections in our country (e.g. actual access speeds, quality per service/application, etc). This national infrastructure is called Broadband Quality Measurements Node (BQMN) and is part of the multinational system "Measurement Lab", also known as "M-Lab".

Users of Internet broadband access services are now able to use state-of-art infrastructure and technologies, by visiting -- through EETT's Broadband Geographic System (GIS), which is available on the Web at: http://mapsrv1.terra.gr/eettutilities/map.aspx -- the web pages through which they can measure the actual quality characteristics of their broadband connection, and diagnose some common technical problems. The web pages are currently available only in English, with Greek versions expected in the near future.

Currently, users have access to the following tools:

1) Network Diagnostic Tool, to test their connection speed and receive sophisticated diagnosis of problems limiting speed.

2) Glasnost, to test whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled.

3) Network Path and Application Diagnosis, to diagnose common problems that impact last-mile broadband networks.

4) Pathload2, to test their available bandwidth.

The M-Lab system shall soon be supporting the following tools: DiffProbe, to determine whether an ISP is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic, and NANO, to determine whether an ISP is degrading the performance of a certain subset of users, applications, or destinations.

The deployment and operation of the Broadband Quality Measurements Node (BQMN) was a result of EETT's fruitful cooperation with a number of local and foreign organisations, and their coordination on several related issues. EETT has purchased and operates the hardware infrastructure (servers). GRNET SA facilitates the installation and operation of the equipment, the node’s connectivity to the Internet via its own network, and the node’s connectivity with the major national Internet Service Providers’ networks, via the Greek Internet Exchange GRIX, which has been set-up and is operated by GRNET SA. M-Lab and PLC are operating and administering the node in cooperation with EETT, while researchers from academic and research institutes develop, deploy and operate the measurements tools, which are available to end users.

In the coming months, EETT working with researchers from M-Lab and the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) of the National Technical University of Athens will collaborate to improve the usability and utility of the platform, supporting the ongoing efforts to help users understand the performance of their connections and the ISPs available to them, combining the measurement tools with EETT's GIS system.

Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission
EETT is the National Regulatory Authority, which supervises and regulates the telecommunications as well as the postal services market. EETT's institutional purpose is to promote the development of the two sectors, to ensure the proper operation of the relevant market in the context of sound competition and to provide for the protection of the interests of the end-users. EETT is an independent self- funded decision-making body.

EETT’s Web Site:
Greek Research and Technology Network SA
GRNET SA (Greek Research and Technology Network), established in 1998, supports the research and academic community through the provision of its state-of-the-art networking and computing infrastructure and services. GRNET has also the role to promote e-Learning and e-Business practices and broadband services to the user community and participates in international research and education efforts.  Within this framework, it has created and operates the first neutral optical internet exchange facility in the country GR.IX. GRNET operates under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Development.

GRNET’s Web Site: http://www.grnet.gr
GRIX’s Web Site: http://www.gr-ix.gr

Measurement Lab Partnership (M-Lab)
M-Lab was founded by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, Google Inc. and academic researchers. Measurement Lab (M-Lab) is an open, distributed server platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools. The goal of M-Lab is to advance network research and empower the public with useful information about their broadband connections. By enhancing Internet transparency, M-Lab helps sustain a healthy, innovative Internet.

Measurement Lab’s Web Site: http://www.measurementlab.org/

The PlanetLab Consortium (PLC)
PlanetLab is an open, globally distributed platform for developing, deploying and accessing planetaryscale network services. PlanetLab’s goal is to support both short-erm experiments and continuously-running network services, and ultimately to develop and demonstrate a new set of network services at planetary scale. The PlanetLab Consortium is established to support and enhance the PlanetLab platform in meeting these goals. It is responsible for overseeing the long-term growth of PlanetLab’s hardware infrastructure; designing and evolving its software architecture; providing day-to-day operational support; and defining policies that govern its appropriate use.

Planet Lab’s Web Site: http://www.planet-lab.org/