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Telecommunications Policy Research Conference Opens Today at George Mason Law School

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2009 – The annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, a must-attend event for academics focused on broadband-related topics, begins at Friday at 2 p.m. ET at Geoge Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va. It is likely to be particularly noteworthy this year.

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Editor’s Note: BroadbandCensus.com will be co-hosting a special session, with the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation, on “The State of Broadband Data & Mapping,” immediately following dinner on Friday night at Telecommunications Policy Research Conference. See below for details. Information and Registration for TPRC.
WASHINGTON, September 25, 2009 – The annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, a must-attend event for academics focused on broadband-related topics, begins at Friday at 2 p.m. ET at Geoge Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va. The conference continues on Saturday and Sunday, and is likely to be particularly noteworthy this year.

With the recent broadband stimulus plans, including grants for broadband, increased funding for health information technology, and the national broadband plan being developed by the Federal Communications Commission, the academic community will have the opportunity to weigh into these debates.

This conference, the 37th Annual Research Conference, is broken down into four distinct subtopics: Network Competition and Broadband Policy, Next Generation Internet and its Management, Spectrum Policy and Wireless Applications, Universal Access and ICT for Development, and Media, Digital Rights and Privacy/Security.

The Network Competition and Broadband Policy sessions revolve around how broadband policy differentiates globally. One noteworthy session is entitled “Broadband and FTTH” (for fiber to the home). This session brings together academics from Canada, Japan and the Netherlands to talk about how different nations have implemented fiber to the home using different approaches.

The case study from the Netherlands is expected to examine how municipal broadband networks affect local competition for broadband.

During the recent stimulus debate, many groups were pushing the government to focus the broadband stimulus on getting fiber to home. Some observed said that the United States has sufficient competition, and that the government becoming an internet service provider would not help the competitive landscape. Others said that without government involvement, existing ISPs would not be willing to invest in new infrastructure.

In addition to these four major topic blocks there are going to be a few overarching panels on innovation and infrastructure deployment.

The innovation panel on Friday evening is scheduled to include top Obama administration officials, including Susan Crawford, Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology and Innovation; Blair Levin, who is leading of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan; and Beth Noveck, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government.

Their panel will explore how innovation policy is being guided by the administration and they key role that it has in the administrations agenda.

Also, a panel of broadband infrastructure deployment will not only focus on how broadband deployment should be undertaken but also on the socio economic benefits that it will bring to the nation.

Its participants include a wide range of experts, including Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, to James McConnaughey, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Rekha Jain, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. This group of government officials, academics and industry experts aims to provide a holistic look at the problems involved with broadband deployment and the solutions which have been implement from around the globe.

At lunch on Saturday,  conference will also include a special tribute to Clay “Tom” Whitehead, who passed away in July 2008, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference.

Editor’s Note: Immediately following dinner of Friday night, all participants are welcome to stay for an informal discussion on the current state of braodband data and mapping issues. The NTIA’s broadband mapping grants to each state and territory – and particularly the larger national “roll-up” to be delivered online by NTIA and FCC – offers an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to both contribute and tap into new and more granular sources of data relevant to Telecom policy research. This session will be primarily an open discussion and brainstorm concerning the sources and uses of data that should be represented in the nation’s new broadband inventory. The national map/inventory will not be limited to state data collection – and FCC is welcoming input. The session is co-hosted by New America Foundation, Benton Foundation and BroadbandCensus.com. Refreshments will be provided.

About BroadbandCensus.com

BroadbandCensus.com was launched in January 2008, and uses “crowdsourcing” to collect the Broadband SPARC: Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. The news on BroadbandCensus.com is produced by Broadband Census News LLC, a subsidiary of Broadband Census LLC that was created in July 2009.

A recent split of operations helps to clarify the mission of BroadbandCensus.com. Broadband Census Data LLC offers commercial broadband verification services to cities, states, carriers and broadband users. Created in July 2009, Broadband Census Data LLC produced a joint application in the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program with Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Program. In August 2009, BroadbandCensus.com released a beta map of Columbia, South Carolina, in partnership with Benedict-Allen Community Development Corporation.

Broadband Census News LLC offers daily and weekly reporting, as well as the Broadband Breakfast Club. The Broadband Breakfast Club has been inviting top experts and policy-makers to share breakfast and perspectives on broadband technology and internet policy since October 2008. Both Broadband Census News LLC and Broadband Census Data LLC are subsidiaries of Broadband Census LLC, and are organized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. About BroadbandCensus.com.

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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