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FCC is requiring the service providers who have received government funding under various programs including Connect-America Funding (CAF) to perform quarterly speed and latency testing a randomly selected test subjects within various speed / service tiers. More detailed specification for the testing procedure can be found here:

Webinar:
CAF II Performance Testing Update

Thursday, April 18, 2019 

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Testing methodology

The FCC mandate performance testing includes two aspects: Speed and Latency testing. The performance testing can be conducted by placing a hardware device in the home of the test subject, called white boxes or by using existing CPE equipment to conduct testing.

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There are primarily three options available to service providers for conducting these performance testing

  1. Measuring Broadband America (MBA) testing set-up conducted by USAC. This method uses white boxes and is a turnkey solution
  2. Other third-party white box solutions
  3. Service provider developed solution: This method primarily using testing program developed by service providers in partnership with solution vendors like TR-69 ACS providers. This method also typically uses existing CPE to conduct the tests instead of white boxes specific designed for performance testing
    • TR-143 protocol, which is part of TR-69 suite of protocols could be used for conducting only the speed part of the performance tests
    • Ping tests could be used to perform Latency testing

 

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  • TR-143 protocol requires that these tests be initiated by the TR-69 ACS server. They cannot be triggered by the CPE
  • TR-143 testing uses HTTP or FTP to perform upload and download diagnostic tests
  • TR-143 test flow description:
    • ACS initiates test by providing information about the test and test server
    • CPE starts the test by uploading and downloading files from the designated test server
    • After completion of the tests, CPE notifies ACS
    • ACS retrieves the test results from CPE
 
  • Capacity and configuration of the test server that saves the file for upload/download
  • The processor speed of the CPE.
  • Modern CPEs use hardware accelerators for high-speed performance. TR-143 does not engage the hardware accelerators so may not reflect the “real” performance
  • The overall traffic load in the subscriber homes
  • The traffic load and the condition of the network connecting the test servers with the CPE
  • Test file size

Difference between TR-143 and Ookla speed tests

TR-143 tests are conducted between the CPE and Test server whereas Ookla tests are conducting between the Ookla client and the Ookla test server. The Ookla client is installed on laptop computer or mobile device. The Ookla test mimics the general behavior of broadband service where the CPE is conducting the traffic between home network and the internet. Ookla tests also engage the hardware accelerators within the CPE to more accurately represent the true provisioned speed of the of the broadband service for the subscriber. Zyxel CPEs, when tested with Ookla, demonstrate speeds as referenced in marketing material.

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Zyxel CPE recommendations

Zyxel has been engaged in enhancing TR-143 implementations to provide the best TR-143 speeds with our CPE. FCC performance testing requirements depend on the service or speed tier that the service provider has received funding for and deployed. Here’s our guidelines for the Zyxel CPE most suitable for TR-143 based testing in relation to different speed tiers.

Speed Tiers 10 Mbps Down
1 Mbps Up
25 Mbps Down
3 Mbps Up
100 Mbps Down
20 Mbps Up
100 Mbps Down
25 Mbps Up
Federal Funding
Programs
ROR
ACAM
RBE
CAF II
ACAM
RBE
CAF II
CAF II RBE
Zyxel  CPE* with TR-143 Support

VMG4325
VMG3925
VMG4825
VMG4927
EMG2926
EMG3425
EMG6726

VMG4325
VMG3925
VMG4825
VMG4927
EMG2926
EMG3425
EMG6726
VMG3925
VMG4825
VMG4927
EMG2926
EMG3425
EMG6726
EMG6765
VMG3925
VMG4825
VMG4927
EMG2926
EMG3425
EMG6726
EMG6765

Note*

1. These results are based on lab testing and should be used as benchmarks for reference. Final determination should be made based on field testing done conducted by service providers.
2. Only select speed tiers have been listed here. This table is not exhaustive. So please contact us if you have a different tier or CPE than ones listed here.
3. Zyxel is continually working with partners to offer customers the best possible solution. So please contact us for the most current updates and information. For more details or questions contact us at t3telco@zyxel.com

Disclaimer of Liability, Accuracy and Use of Data

Zyxel shall not be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information described and/or contained herein and assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information. Although the information in this document has been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of the information. Zyxel provide this information on an “AS IS” basis. Changes may be periodically added to the information herein; these changes may or may not be incorporated in any new version of the publication. If the user has obtained information from Zyxel, or from a source other than Zyxel, the user must be aware that electronic data can be altered subsequent to original distribution. Data can also quickly become out-of-date. If the user finds any errors or omissions, we encourage the user to report them to Zyxel at telco@zyxel.com.