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TechNet Hosts First Broadband Map Research Meeting

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2011 – The bipartisan technology policy group TechNet gathered government officials and leading broadband scholars Tuesday to present the first set of academic research using data from the national broadband map.



WASHINGTON, March 24, 2011 – The bipartisan technology policy group TechNet gathered government officials and leading broadband scholars Tuesday to present the first set of academic research using data from the national broadband map.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration Chief of Staff Thomas Powers kicked off the event by praising the researchers for their quick analysis of the large data set.

The national broadband map comprises 25 million pieces of data, and represents the most detailed set of broadband data compiled to date.

The research was only possible due to the granularity of data that the broadband map collected. The research is still in preliminary stages, but the findings support many claims that policy makers have been asserting about the link between broadband availability, demographics and economics.

Ying Li and Mikyung Baek from the Joint Center on Political and Economic Studies looked at the correlation between broadband availability, income and race in Los Angeles, Chicago and South Carolina. They found that the heavily African American areas of Los Angeles had a low level of broadband availability. In South Carolina, they found that in areas where the overall population has a low income race did not affect availability.

Sharon Strover, Director, Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute at the University of Texas examined the quality of broadband in rural regions. She compared speed availability in various rural areas and found that the economic characteristics of the region directly affect the broadband availability. In areas where mining and farming is dominant speeds tend to be low.

Strover also found a greater disparity in the difference between advertised speed and actual speed in rural areas than in urban.

“Right now we are drawing conclusions from Census data collected in 2000,” said Johannes Bauer Director of Special Programs, Quello Center for Telecommunication Management & Law at Michigan State University. “To really understand what’s going on we need access to the most recent Census data.”

Bauer went on to suggest that when the NTIA updates the map it include information about adoption and pricing.

“We now know what’s available but not what people are using.” Bauer said.

George Ford, Chief Economist at the Phoenix Center, provided a critique of the map saying that it was “incomplete” and that it did not provide accurate enough data to be used to conduct verifiable analysis.  Ford commended the NTIA map as a first attempt, but that researchers should wait for improvements before drawing any conclusions.

Communications Workers of America Telecommunications Policy Director Debbie Goldman said that while many providers did not initially supply data to the map, they now see how the public is using the map and are more willing to provide data.

Steven Morris, Vice president at National Cable & Telecommunications Association, echoed the statement, saying, “we have always encouraged our members to provide data for the mapping effort and are trying to convince the few hold outs to supply data.”

National Broadband Mapping Program Director, Anne Neville responded to the critics saying, “This is the largest and most detailed map ever made and there are going to be some errors, but this is Version One – with each update the map will improve.”

Neville also stressed the point that the data is coming directly from the Internet service providers and many of them do not have the data in the level of detail the map requires. When the data is converted, it can lead to errors, but states have been given funding to update and improve the data over the next five years.

The NTIA plans to update the map in late August.

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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.



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.



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.



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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