Pulse Update: Accessibility, IXPs, and APIs

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Director, Internet Policy
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May 1, 2024

Hello, and welcome to the first of our regular Pulse Updates! It’s a fairly long update, but there are many great things to highlight.

The Pulse team at the Internet Society is committed to making Pulse the best place to view trusted third-party Internet measurement data, examine Internet trends, and tell data-driven stories about our changing Internet.

A big part of that is making Pulse easier for anyone, anywhere, to be able to access and use!

Improved NetLoss Calculator

Earlier this month, the team introduced an improved version of the NetLoss calculator. The NetLoss calculator allows users to estimate the economic cost of an Internet shutdown or service blocking in a country or territory. While it looks very similar, the new NetLoss calculator has several improvements that should make it easier to use.

These include:

  • Better accessibility. The NetLoss calculator now complies with WCAG 2.1 AA, a web accessibility guideline published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The feature also has a standardized font to allow for better scaling for users on mobile devices and new date formats localized for users.
  • Better linking. The NetLoss calculator now has bookmarkable and shareable URLs for countries, including date parameters with preview meta tags. This will make it easier to directly refer to the calculator’s estimates of specific shutdown events.
  • Better speeds and optimization.  Users browsing the NetLoss calculator now require less than half as many requests. The page weight is less than half of what it was. Page speeds are now over three times faster for users. This means that the new NetLoss calculator is faster and requires less bandwidth, which is particularly important for users with sub-par Internet access.

Coming Soon: Peering Dashboard and API

The next new feature for Pulse will be the Peering Dashboard. The dashboard will allow you to analyze publicly available routing data to track:

  • How IXPs have grown over time.
  • What IXP membership looks like.
  • How IXP capacity has changed.

The Peering Dashboard is an open-source web platform developed by a joint team of researchers and the Internet Society.

Screenshot of the Peering Platform
Under Development: The Peering Dashboard will provide information on the types of members peering at an IXP.
Screenshot of Peering Platform showing growth in number of members and capacity at an example IXP.
Under Development: Displaying how an IXP’s membership and capacity have grown over time.

Finally, Pulse will release a new API to give researchers and users better access to Pulse data!

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