WASHINGTON February 17, 2011 – Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, Lawrence Strickling, presented a brief preview of the national broadband map and an update on the activities of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the annual winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners on Wednesday.
NTIA will not unveil the broadband map until Thursday, but Strickling revealed that the map contains over 25 million pieces of data.
“This is the most granular map ever created,” he said, “it goes all the way down to the census block level. It will allow consumers to input their address and receive a list of the broadband providers in their area along with direct links to the provider’s websites.”
Strickling highlighted that NTIA will release the map not only on time, but under budget. The leftover funding for broadband mapping was given to states by NTIA for use in expanding existing broadband capacity.
While Strickling would not reveal any more details about the map, he did say that “after seeing the data we were reassured that the grants we administered went to areas that needed them.” One of the criticisms of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program by Republicans was that grants were awarded prior to the completion the broadband availability map. These critics believed that the grants would go to areas which already might have access but the government did not have the proper data to determine the level of access.
“Many people thought the hard part was awarding the grants,” Strickling said, “but really the hard part is going to be the continuous work we do with the grantees to ensure they are able to build their projects on time and within the guidelines.”
Many BTOP projects have yet to be completed due to the long process of obtaining environmental assessments and work permits, but a number of the public computing grant projects are currently up and running. These projects were primarily located within existing libraries and community centers that only needed computers and funding to obtain access. One of the things that NTIA discovered from the analyzing the mapping data along with usage practices was that schools need 100Mbps per 1,000 students to provide adequate access.
While the data received from these projects is still preliminary and raw Strickling indicated that NTIA has found an uptick in broadband subscription in areas where the projects are running.
“Bringing computers to these centers is easy,” he said. “What these projects are also doing is providing the community with digital literacy skills and showing them the value of the Internet.”
Strickling then addressed the allegations that BTOP will create overbuild – the building of a network in an area where one already exists.
“The overbuild problem is overblown,” he asserted. “Our goal was to bring service to areas that, by definition, do not have enough service for the community. Additionally, in areas where overbuild may occur the networks we are deploying are open. This will allow the incumbents to use them to provide better service to their customers. ”
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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