Broadband Forum UDP Speed Test Update Aims to Enhance QoE

The Broadband Forum has released an update of the TR-471 Speed Test designed to ensure that latency-sensitive applications and services running on User Datagram Protocol (UDP)-based networks are adequately supported.

The UDP Speed Test (UDPST) performs the tests defined in “TR-471 Issue 3 ‘Maximum IP-Layer Capacity Metric, Related Metrics, and Measurements” that quantify and verify broadband networks in applications that require a specific quality of service (QoS) such as gaming, UHD streaming, augmented reality and virtual reality.

The “Latency under Load” update enables users to compare performance to latency demands of the application being used in milliseconds. The requirements of the applications are categorized with red, yellow and green indicators. Tests of the new approach provided enhanced results and offered a more practical view than a TCP-based method, the forum said.

The update is expected to address what is seen as an important gap between TCP-based approaches and what is necessary to ensure that UDP is performing adequately. This is important, according to the Broadband Forum, because the percentage of UDP traffic is significant and will continue to grow in proportion to TCP traffic. As of January 2022, the fully encrypted QUIC transport protocol running over UDP accounts for almost 16% of traffic in North America.

“Our open source implementation provides an approach to Internet access measurement with demonstrable accuracy and is an integral part of Broadband Forum specifications. The TR-471 specification was harmonized and developed in coordination with other standards organizations, including ITU-T, IETF and ETSI-STQ/Mobile,” Al Morton, AT&T and OB-UDPST project co-leader and TR-471 editor, said in a press release.“UDP is a critical communication protocol for time-sensitive transmissions on the Internet, and the UDPST measurements provide consumer confidence in their service’s support of applications that use UDP.”




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