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Ireland as a Model for the U.S. in Next Generation Broadband

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2009 – Higher-speed broadband connectivity and prompt broadband investments will aid social and economic goals, Ireland’s Department of Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said in a report issued on Monday.

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WASHINGTON, June 27, 2009 – Higher-speed broadband connectivity and prompt broadband investments will aid social and economic goals, Ireland’s Department of Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said in a report issued on Monday.

Accord to a report by the Department of Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources, broadband development in Ireland has been very successful so far, mainly due to increased competition between the main telecom and cable operators.

The report touted increases in Irish broadband deployment by virtue of increased competition between the main telecom and cable operators. It also said that take-up of wireless and other third generation broadband services occurred at a faster pace in Ireland than in other countries.

“In the 12 months to March 2009, mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 90.6 percent,” the report said. “Broadband take-up in Ireland is nearly at 1.3 million subscribers, an increase of almost 300,000 since” last July.

The challenging economic climate will, however, “affect the development of the networks necessary to support bandwidth-intense applications and services.” The economic environment could “provide the impetus” to the telecom sector to adopt a creative approach in order to aid economic recovery, the report said.

The government should spur private sector investment by “lowering the cost of building infrastructure,” or by “using regulatory policy to improve financial returns,” the report said.

Competing infrastructures “provide a spur to investment” by the fixed-line incumbents, cable operators, and alternative operators.  One of the key difficulties in deploying broadband in rural areas is the low population density, creating a “digital divide,” the report said.

It also highlighted the need for innovative radio-frequency spectrum policies, and for targeted government action in addition to promoting private sector investment.

Outside experts commenting on the Irish report said that it offered lessons for the United States.

“Government has a significant role to play in providing direct infrastructure subsidies for rural areas, but these actions need to be coordinated to achieve the maximum benefit,” said Information Technology and Information Foundation Research Fellow Richard Bennett. “The Irish stress collaborative investment in these projects, a very intriguing approach.”

“There are significant parallels between the U.S. and Ireland, especially in the rural context, that deserve careful study,” Bennett continued. “They’re working the problem all the way down to home wiring, which shows a level of diligence we haven’t seen in the U.S. as of yet.”

“A strategic national plan to insure broadband access in rural areas is essential for any developed country that wishes to remain competitive in the world marketplace,” sayid Warren E. Clark, president of CCI Marketing, which is working on broadband issues in agriculture.

Looking at the Irish experience in rural markets suggests, for the United States, that “broadband adoption in rural areas has been hindered in part because of the financial recession,” said Clark. Targeting broadband stimulus monies for consumers to use to purchase high-speed internet service of their own choosing would be best, he said.

Broadband Data

Ookla Has Verizon as Fastest Q1 Fixed Provider, T-Mobile Takes Top Spot for Mobile

T-Mobile was also named the most consistent mobile operator and topped 5G download speeds.

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Image of Speedtest from May 2017 by Daniel Aleksandersen used with permission

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2022 – A market report released Friday by performance metrics web service Ookla named Verizon the fastest fixed broadband provider in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2022, and T-Mobile as the fastest mobile operator during the same period.

Verizon had a median download speed of 184.36 Mbps, edging out Comcast Xfinity’s speed of 179.12 Mbps. T-Mobile’s median mobile speed was 117.83 Mbps.

Verizon had the lowest latency of all providers, according to Ookla, well ahead of Xfinity’s fourth place ranking, yet sat at third for consistency behind both Xfinity and Spectrum.

T-Mobile was also the most consistent mobile operator during the first quarter, achieving an Ookla consistency score of 88.3 percent, which along with median download speed represented an increase from the fourth quarter of 2021.

The company also achieved the fastest median 5G download speed, coming in at 191.12 Mbps.

Verizon also notably increased its 5G download speed from its Q4 metric, attributed in part to the turning on of new C-band spectrum in January following deployment delays and protest from airlines. For mobile speeds, it stood in second behind T-Mobile, bumping AT&T to a standing of third. These rankings were the same for mobile measures of latency and consistency.

Yet on 5G availability, AT&T remains ahead of Verizon.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra came in as the fastest popular device in the country, running at 116.33 Mbps.

Ookla is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

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Broadband Data

FCC’s Rosenworcel: Broadband Nutrition Labels Will Create New Generation of Informed Buyers

The FCC hopes companies will make it easier for consumers to choose a broadband plan that fits their needs.

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Photo of Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel speaking at the Mobile World Conference 2022 in Barcelona

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband nutrition labels will usher in a new era where buyers have simple information about what they’re buying, agency Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Friday.

Consumers should know what they’re signing up for when they spend hundreds “or even thousands” of dollars per year for internet service. She was speaking at Friday’s commission hearing on its so-called broadband nutrition label initiative.

The hearing comes on top of a public comment period on the initiative. Many providers are pushing for more flexible regulations on compliance.

When consumers choose a broadband provider for their household, Rosenworcel said may people make decisions with “sometimes incomplete and inaccurate information.”

“The problem for broadband consumers isn’t a total lack of information, but there’s loads of fine print,” Rosenworcel said. “It can be difficult to know exactly what we are paying for and these disclosures are not consistent from carrier to carrier,” which makes comparing prices and services harder and more time-consuming for consumers.

The comments built on other recent speeches by Rosenworcel promoting the initiative, encouraging state attorneys general’s ability to enforce companies’ commitments through their states’ consumer protection statutes.

The FCC began a plan in 2015 for broadband labels that was voluntary. The new initiative directed by last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law makes this effort mandatory for broadband providers.

Matt Sayre, managing director of cross sector economic development firm Onward Eugene, said residents in rural Oregon would benefit from simple information when considering broadband providers. During a time where dial-up and satellite-based offerings were primarily available, Sayre said his neighbors “never used terms like latency or packet loss.”

“These are important aspects of good internet service, but not easily understood by most people,” Sayre said. “Citizens understood they needed better service but were uncertain about what tier of service they needed. This is where broadband labels can be very helpful.”

The hearing was the agency’s first on the initiative.

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Broadband Data

Small ISP Organizations Push FCC for Flexibility on Broadband Label Compliance

Advocates say strict compliance requirements may economically harm small providers.

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Photo of outgoing WISPA CEO of Claude Aiken from April 2018 by New America used with permission

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2022 ­­– In comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday, organizations representing small internet providers are pushing for flexible regulations on compliance with a measure that requires clear reporting of broadband service aspects to consumers.

The measure was adopted at a late January meeting by the commission, mandating that providers list their pricing and speed information about services in the format of a “broadband nutrition label” that mimics a food nutrition label. Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure bill enacted in the fall required that the FCC adopt such policy.

The organizations that submitted comments Wednesday say that strict compliance requirements for the new measure may economically harm small providers.

Among those leading the charge are trade associations Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association and America’s Communications Association as well as provider Lumen Technologies.

In comments, limited resources of smaller providers were cited as factors which could disadvantage them in terms of complying with the measure to the FCC’s standards and several organizations asked for small providers to be given extra time to comply.

In separate comments, internet provider Lumen said that the FCC must make multiple changes to its approach if it is to “avoid imposing new obligations that arbitrarily impose excessive costs on providers and undermine other policy goals.”

Last month, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said that she looks forward to increased coordination between the FCC and state attorneys general for the enforcement of the measure.

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