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FCC reports say some ISPs miss speed targets

19 Jun, 2014

Following the National Broadband Plan of 2010, the FCC began measuring broadband performance. The result has been a series of reports entitled “Measuring Broadband America,” and the commission recently released its latest.

Overall, the FCC said that “most broadband providers continue to improve service performance by delivering actual speeds that meet or exceed advertised speeds during the past year, but some providers showed significant room for improvement, particularly with respect to consistency of speeds.”

In fact, although there has been progress, it doesn’t follow a smooth line. Instead, there are differences between carriers, both in download and upload; better service for people with more money to spend; and variations between advertised and actual speeds.

The report made five main points, all of which can be read in greater depth in the news release, and in the report itself. They are:

•    ISPs continue to deliver the combined upload/download speeds they advertise, but a new metric this year – consistency of speeds – shows there’s still work to be done.
•    Download speeds performance varies by service tier, with some ISPs delivering less than 80 percent of advertised speeds.
•    Fiber and Cable technologies continue to evolve to higher speed offerings, but DSL is beginning to lag behind.
•    Consumers continue to migrate to higher speed tiers.
•    Upload speeds vary sharply.

In response, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, “Consumers deserve to get what they pay for. While it’s encouraging to see that in the past these reports have encouraged providers to improve their services, I’m concerned that some providers are failing to deliver consistent speeds to consumers that are commensurate to their advertised speeds.”

FCC Releases Fourth “Measuring Broadband America” Report (FCC news release, Jun. 18, 2014)

Measuring Broadband America – 2014 (FCC report, Jun. 2014)

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