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Four out of Five Americans Don’t Know the Speeds of Their Internet Connections

in Broadband Data/Broadband Updates/Broadband's Impact/FCC/National Broadband Plan by

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2010 – Four out of five Americans do not know the speeds of their high-speed Internet connections, according to data released today from the Federal Communications Commission.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said: “Speed matters. The more broadband subscribers know about what speeds they need and what speeds they get, the more they can make the market work and push faster speeds over broadband networks.”

However, most Americans are satisfied with the broadband speed they are getting. Fully 91 percent of broadband users say they are "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with the speed they get at home, found the survey.

In conjunction with releasing the data, the agency’s Consumer Task Force announced a plan designed to help the FCC determine the broadband speeds consumers are getting in their homes and on their mobile devices, a key recommendation in the National Broadband Plan.

In the first of these initiatives, the FCC asked today for 10,000 volunteers to participate in a scientific study to measure home broadband speed in the United States.

Special hardware will be installed in the homes of volunteers to measure the performance of all the country’s major Internet service providers across geographic regions and service tiers. The FCC is partnering with SamKnows Limited in this effort. SamKnows successfully conducted a similar test in the United Kingdom.

A public notice asking for comment on the test plan was released in April 2010. This study will result in a State of Broadband report to be released later this year.

Anyone can register as a volunteer for the test at Volunteers will be able to track the performance of their own broadband service while providing data for the FCC, Internet service providers and others.

Additionally, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is issuing a notice today to look at ways to measure mobile broadband speed. Consumers are more frequently using mobile wireless devices to access the Web, sometimes as a primary Internet connection. The public notice asks for input on the best ways to measure mobile broadband speeds, the ways that speed measurements can be used to help improve service, and the information consumers should have about the speed of mobile broadband coverage.

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