Jonathan Schwantes

Consumer Reports launches Broadband Together — a nationwide search for the truth about your internet service

In a first-of-its-kind effort, the Broadband Together initiative is asking people across the country to share their monthly internet bills — so we can find out what we’re really getting for our money, and advocate for a better internet that costs less. Consumer Reports is asking thousands of consumers to share their monthly internet bills at broadbandtogether.org so CR can analyze the cost, quality, and speeds that are being delivered to people in communities across the US, and to bet

Survey on broadband affordability, accessibility, and quality of service in the US

Consumer Reports conducted a nationally representative survey to assess Americans’ access to high-speed internet service, and gauge their experiences and satisfaction with their broadband internet service. Key findings of the survey include: 

Make Broadband More Affordable and Accessible for All Americans

The pandemic made it clearer than ever how much we depend on a fast, reliable broadband. But getting online for millions of Americans is too costly and in many cases the service is inadequate. Robust competition creates scrutiny and accountability that can prevent big telecommunications companies from expanding data cap limits when people are more dependent than ever on an internet connection. Even during the pandemic, Comcast and other internet service providers still enforce these data caps in markets where they face little or no competition.

Time to Treat Broadband Like the Essential Service It Is

Let’s stop ignoring the obvious: broadband internet access service is a public utility and needs to be regulated as one.

Consumers Union Urges Senate Commerce Committee to Press FCC Chairman on Consumer Agenda

Consumers Union urged Senate Commerce Committee members to press newly-appointed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to explain his agenda on key consumer issues. In a letter to the Committee, the group outlined concerns regarding the Chairman’s plans for critical consumer protections, including net neutrality and broadband privacy rules. The letter also encourages Senators to question the Chairman on whether the FCC will tackle rising cable prices and add-on fees, what the Commission will do to increase competition in the cable set-top box market, and what the future portends for the FCC’s Robocall Strike Force. The letter includes specific issues for the Committee to address with Chairman Pai, including:
On Broadband Privacy: How favoring the FTC’s approach to privacy enforcement is anything less than a weakening of the current FCC broadband privacy rules, and to inquire about the many steps needed for the FTC to exercise comparable jurisdiction over issues critical to consumer privacy.
On Net Neutrality: What are his plans and thinking with regard to net neutrality moving forward, including exploring his rationale of historically low levels of broadband investment as a justification to scuttle the FCC’s net neutrality rules.
On Rising Cable Prices and Unwarranted Fees: What does Chairman Pai believes should be done to stem the proliferation of company-imposed fees, and whether he will adopt the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee’s recommendation that pay-TV providers should provide consumers with the estimated dollar amount of their total monthly bill that includes company-imposed fees and surcharges at the time service is initiated.
On Set-Top Boxes: How he plans to open up the set-top box market in a way that would truly benefit consumers.
On Robocalls: Whether Chairman Pai plans to host future meetings of the Robocall Strike Force, and whether he will push phone companies to promptly provide their consumers free, advanced robocall-blocking tools.