FCC Releases Fourth "Measuring Broadband America" Report

The Federal Communications Commission released the results of its ongoing nationwide performance study of residential broadband service in its fourth “Measuring Broadband America” report.

The report continues the Commission’s efforts towards bringing greater clarity and competition to the home broadband services marketplace. The 2014 report reveals that most broadband providers continue to improve service performance by delivering actual speeds that meet or exceed advertised speeds, but some providers showed significant room for improvement, particularly with respect to consistency of speeds. This report highlights five evolving trends:

  • Internet service providers (ISPs) continue to deliver the combined upload/download speeds they advertise, but a new metric in 2014 -- consistency of speeds -- shows there’s still work to be done.
  • Download speeds performance varies by service tier, with some ISPs delivering less than 80 percent of advertised speeds.
  • Fiber and Cable technologies continue to evolve to higher speed offerings, but DSL is beginning to lag behind.
  • Consumers continue to migrate to higher speed tier.
  • Upload speeds vary sharply.

Network congestion study:
The study uncovered network congestion at certain interconnection points during the report’s reporting period. Although that data is not included in the findings of the report, the FCC will make this data fully available with the report for the public to review and analyze. The FCC is also taking steps to better understand the issues that presented themselves, including by analyzing network impact on video service providers such as YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix and others and requesting more information from ISPs and video providers about peering issues. We are working to develop tools that measure and validate how these types of congestion issues affect the consumer experience. We expect to have instituted additional testing methodologies providing more information on network congestion and peering by winter 2014.

Nationwide Test of Fixed Broadband Services Reveals That While Most ISPs Meet Or Exceed Speeds They Advertise, Some Broadband Providers Show Significant Room For Improvement 2014 Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report (Read report) Reps Walden, Latta Respond to FCC Report Showing Broadband Speeds are Higher than Ever (House Commerce Committee) FCC finds Web speeds as fast as advertised (The Hill) FCC report shows ISPs are faster than ever, but congestion is a problem (GigaOm) Annual FCC Internet Traffic Study Shows Netflix-Like Congestion (Revere Digital) FCC Report: ISPs Improve On Advertised Speeds (Multichannel News) Internet providers measure up on advertised speeds (USAToday) DSL subscribers more likely to get cheated on broadband, says FCC (C-Net|News) Many Verizon DSL and AT&T customers not getting speeds they pay for (ars technica)