WASHINGTON, February 23, 2010 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday outlined goals for broadband supply and demand, and said that by 2020, 100 megabit per second (Mbps) broadband should be available to 100 million households.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution at the unveiling of an FCC survey on broadband adoption and use in America, Genachowski also said that by 10 years from now, 90 percent of population should have adopted broadband, and that all high school graduates need to be digitally literate.
Genachowski said that broadband is the foundation for economics and democracy in the 21st Century, as well as the central platform for innovation, and a platform for solutions. Broadband should be robust, open, and universally accessible, he said.
Genachowski also said that the national broadband plan under development by the FCC provides the opportunity to transform the Universal Service Fund. Genachowski also mobile broadband infrastructure, saying that unleashing spectrum can improve speed, service, and innovation. Doing so will also assist by getting mobile broadband service into the hands of first responders.
Addressing broadband adoption issue, Genachowski said there are three main reasons people do not have broadband: lack of affordability, lack of digital literacy, and a perceived lack of relevance.
In order to address these problems, individuals must listen carefully to the reasons given by those who have not adopted broadband – and address the root causes.
According to John Horrigan, Consumer Research Director at the FCC, the survey mandated by the Broadband Data Improvement Act had two goals: to understand broadband users and use, and to understand non-adoption.
The main dividing lines on adoption are education, income, and age, according to the survey.
If a person has some college or more, an income of $50,000 a year or more, and under the age of 65, such a person tends to have a high broadband adoption rate.
In order to understand why Americans adopt the use of broadband, the survey asked what online activities are most important.
For broadband adopters, the most important reason for getting access is to communicate with friends and family. Entertainment activities such as watching TV shows or other video online and playing games online are at the bottom of the list.
According to the survey, 35 percent of the adult population are non-adopters. Horrigan noted that within this 35 percent, there are three baskets of non-adopters: 22 percent non-internet users, 6 percent dial-up users at home, and 6 percent online users who do not access the internet from home.
Furthermore, 4 percent of adults cite lack of available infrastructure as reason for non-adoption.
Just as the survey asked adopters the most important online activity, the survey asked non-adopters the most important reason they do not use the internet or broadband.
The responses fall into the categories of cost, digital literacy, and relevance –which are the areas Genachowski identified as needing attention. According to the survey, cost is the main barrier to broadband adoption.
Danny Weitzner, associate administrator at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s policy analysis shop, commented on the consistency of the FCC survey results are with NTIA survey data.
An NTIA survey found that 30 percent of the population does not use the Internet at all, and that there is a gap between urban and rural availability. According to Weitzner, two main challenges are understanding non-adoption and developing geographically specific infrastructure.
Wrapping up the discussion, Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, drew attention to the importance of social context in individual broadband adoption.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Small ISP Organizations Push FCC for Flexibility on Broadband Label Compliance
Advocates say strict compliance requirements may economically harm small providers.
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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