April 9, 2019 – There is exists a gaping digital divide between Rural America and the rest of the country, in which 146 million people (45 percent of the population) do not have access to a low-price plan for residential broadband.
That is according to research released last week by BroadbandNow, which also found a slightly positive correlation between income and low-priced broadband. In other words, the wealthier the community, the more likely it was to have access to lower-priced broadband.
Among the states with the greatest access to low-priced broadband were Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Utah, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The states with the least access to low-priced broadband were Nevada, Montana and Wisconsin. The complete data set is available at BroadbandNow Report, Digital Divide: broadband pricing by state, zip code, and income level.
Additional findings from the report include:
- Zip codes in the bottom 10 percent of population density pay up to 37 percent more on average for residential wired broadband than those in the top 10 percent.
- States with median household income of at least $60K have 78 percent low-priced plan coverage on average, compared to only 37 percent average low-priced plan coverage for states with less than $60K income.
- Nationwide, fiber has the lowest average price per wired technology. It costs 48 cents per megabit per second of speed. Cable costs an average of 65 cents/Mbps, and DSL $1.53/Mbps.
The report also includes interactive assets that can be searched down to the state level based upon low price plan, by technology (cable, DSL or fiber), and by state.
BroadbandNow is a national directory of internet service providers, plans and pricing. The company built its interactive database upon the National Broadband Map, launched in 2011 by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Commerce Department and the Federal Communications Commission.
In 2016, the FCC discontinued the national broadband map, although BrodbandNow continued to maintain its carrier-level dataset of broadband deployment.
The issue of improving broadband mapping — particularly because of its relevance to broadband mapping — has increasing in attention among policy-makers. Indeed, it will be the subject of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday. The hearing will include witnesses from industry, plus Ookla (which runs SpeedTest.net) and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
Additionally, Jameson Zimmer a senior analyst at BroadbandNow.com, will be participating in the Rural Telecommunications Congress at the Broadband Communities Summit in Austin on Wednesday, April 10. Jameson will participate in a session on “Wired and Wireless: What Technologies Best Meet the Needs of Rural America.”
- Senate Commerce Looks Into Broadband Mapping Issues, Broadband and Cable, Multichannel News, April 3, 2019
- Democrats Question FCC About ‘Serious Inaccuracies’ In Broadband Report, Media Post, April 3, 2019
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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