FCC Releases Latest Report on Measuring Broadband; Gap Between Actual and Advertised Speeds is Closing

Broadband Data, Broadband's Impact, FCC, Wireless June 18th, 2014

, Reporter, Broadband Breakfast News

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 – Most internet service providers are delivering upload and download broadband speeds as advertised, according to the Federal Communications Commission, although there is room for improvement in consistency of speed.

In its “Measuring Broadband America” report released Thursday, the FCC said that, on average, ISPs are delivering 101 percent of advertised download speeds, as compared to 97 percent last year.

That compares to results from an August 2011 study, which found that most broadband providers included in the part delivered 80 percent of advertised speeds during peak usage periods.

A senior agency official said the report aims to promote transparency and ensure that consumers can make informed decisions about broadband choices, the official said.

Ten out of fourteen ISPs showed slightly improved download performance since last year, the FCC said. Qwest/CenturyLink showed the most successful, experiencing a 16 percent performance increase.

Although fiber-optic technology is driving advancements with several carriers, those with large digital subscriber line footprints, on the other hand, experienced lags in performance improvement. In fact, Verizon Communications, which offers DSL to some customers – in addition to its Fios fiber-optic service in some markets – was the only ISP to show slower results versus last year.

Consumers are also electing by themselves to gradually migrate to higher speed tiers, the report said.

Nationwide, the “average subscriber speed is now 21.2 [Megabits per second] Mbps, representing an average annualized speed increase of about 36 percent from the 15.6 Mbps average of 2012,” said the FCC.

As for upload speeds, ISPs offering broadband via fiberhad the highest speeds.Internet congestion was also frequently discovered at interconnection points.

The FCC officials said the report was not indicative of any agenda to regulate broadband. The official did say, howeverinternet congestion is being investigated for potential harm to the marketplace and consumers.

“We expect to have instituted additional testing methodologies providing more information on network congestion and peering by winter 2014,” the official said.

Details of the FCC report are available at Measuring Broadband America.

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