A Reliable Connection, Wherever You Are
March 18, 2022
I was driving the other day outside of the city. I was on a call with a colleague and we were deep in the conversation when suddenly the line went dead. This rarely happens when you're in town and, within a few miles, we were able to reconnect. No big deal.
Except it is a big deal for many of the people who rely on our service.
So many of the technological advances being trumpeted today focus on improving the lives of big city dwellers. Faster delivery of food. Faster speeds for online gaming. Faster pickup times for drivers. Faster is great. But what about reliability? While some parts of our world are zooming faster into the future, we risk leaving a good portion of people behind.
That's not good enough.
When Proctorio was created nine years ago, it was our vision to offer a solution with the lowest bandwidth requirements in the industry so that using our service doesn't require the latest device or a brand new webcam. In the city or in the country, our users can reliably complete their tests.
As more universities and institutions moved online during the pandemic, a strong and dependable internet connection became a dividing line between the digital haves and have-nots. Services like ours - that operate with much lower bandwidth requirements - seek to bridge that gap.
In 2021, Proctorio administered over 25 million tests. Of those, there were roughly 80,000 unsuccessful test start attempts due to bandwidth requirements. Although that is less than one half of one percent, it's still a meaningful amount of test starts where a stronger connection was needed, likely delaying their exam and causing stress.
Bandwidth connection requirements are always a concern for any sort of digital learning environment. The EdTech industry especially is known to have very high minimum requirements. Given Proctorio already had the lowest connection requirement, an analysis of our competitors found three would have struggled with as high as 13 times the number of exams Proctorio successfully administered:
Competitor H: 465,313 more failed exam attempts
Competitor U: 839,508 more failed exam attempts
Competitor E: 1,023,642 more failed exam attempts
One of our competitors would have been technologically incapable of connecting students to their tests over a million times.
Most companies would be happy with this level of success. But we weren't satisfied with those numbers. And we've done something about it.
We are happy to announce a new breakthrough that lowers bandwidth requirements for our service to a new industry low 0.189Mbps.
By making adjustments to our already proprietary streaming format, we can enable the computer to run more efficiently during the exam. It lightens the CPU's load, reduces power usage and decreases bandwidth requirements. It does this while simultaneously making the quality of the recording better.
The new update, in place since January, improves Proctorio's performance by another 54%.
Hardware should not be a burden to furthering personal or professional growth. Our service was designed intentionally to be compatible with devices even ten years old so students don't need to buy a new laptop every year in order to get an education. This dramatic lowering of necessary bandwidth levels the playing field that much more. The future of education is bright, but it must be a vision in which everyone can share.
**Data set includes 270 test attempts that were made at speeds slower than dial up.