It has been revealed that one of the most important elements of the live ISP filtering pilot, testing the impact filtering a blacklist of 10,000 URLs has on network performance, will be a closed network test and will not involve actual customers.
In consultations with ISPs, concerns have been raised that filtering a blacklist beyond 10 000 URLs may raise network performance issues, depending on the configuration of the filter. The pilot will therefore seek to also test network performance against a test list of 10 000 URLs.
This will be a closed network test and will not involve actual customers. The list of 10 000 sites will be developed by the technical organisation assisting the Department on the pilot, which has access to lists of this size. As this test is only being performed to test the impact on network performance against a list of this size, and actual customers are not involved, the make-up of the list is not an issue.
EFA board member, Geordie Guy, sought confirmation from DBCDE and asked whether the pilot would use “simulated users” and was told a clear “yes”.
The live filtering pilot is not a pilot at all, it’s a prototype. It’s not the same thing as the real thing, it’s something different intended to illustrate similar concepts. You could also argue (and I do), that it’s not live – instead of what-you-see-is-what-you-get like live Television, it’ll be pre-performed and the results supplied after editing.
What will happen according to my determination (which DBCDE have confirmed), is that the prototype with ISPs will involve simulated users and the aim is to determine much the same sort of thing as the Tasmanian trials but on the ISP networks. Instead of thirty users like the Tasmanian trials it would be assumed that more would be simulated. Will this give a clearer picture (despite prototype vs pilot) than Tasmania did?
It’s certainly worth the cynical note that simulated users also do not publically complain that their Internet performance is degraded under the system.
And here I was thinking that the reason Senator Conroy didn’t answer Senator Cory Bernardi’s question about how many customers an ISP would be required to enlist for a trial to be credible was because he didn’t know.
Update 6/12/2008: Quote corrected – “It’s certainly worth the cynical note that simulated users also do not publically complain that their Internet performance is degraded under the system” attributed to Geordie Guy. Originally I attributed it to WP member in first quote. Sorry, my mistake – Mike.