FCC Study: Cable Delivers 99% of Advertised Broadband Speeds
Cablevision delivers 120%, draws praise from FCC chair for improvement
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/19/2012 1:20:19 PM
Testing for the study was conducted in April 2012, and the FCC said Thursday the bottom line was "striking, across-the board" improvements.
Cable operators delivered 99% of those advertised speeds at peak periods, according to the FCC's just-released residential broadband speed survey, up from 93% in 2011. Cablevision actually delivered 120% of advertised download speeds to top the list of cable ISPS, and over 100% of upload speeds.
In fact, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski singled out the company in remarks at the Thursday public meeting at which the study was unveiled, saying it had gone from a broadband speed "outlier" in the 2011 study (delivering 54% of advertised download speeds) to one of the performance leaders this time around. He was also making the point that the FCC's release of that initial study was one of the reasons for the improvements in the 2012 study over 2011.
Mediacom was another cable standout, delivering 100% of advertised download speeds and almost 120% of upload speeds.
Commissioner Robert McDowell pointed out that the survey did not include wireless broadband and said that needed to be made clear to consumers and rectified. Genachowski said the commission was working on it and agreed that mobile broadband info was needed as well. McDowell said the report was an encouraging sign of a competitive marketplace and that it was important not to do anything to discourage the private capital investments that drive that competition.
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel agreed that the study needed to be expanded, and said that the study should do more than shine light on the speeds. Consumers needed to be able understand those speeds and what they mean for accessing an HD video stream, developing a website, logging into a teleconference or playing a video game.
Commissioner Ajit Pai said that they key question was whether consumers were getting what they had paid for, and the answer was a resounding "yes."
Genachowski agreed that the key to the study was giving consumers information to help them make smart choices. But he was not resting on his laurels, however. He said there was still room for faster speeds and lower per-gigabyte prices.
Cable participants in the study included Cablevision, Charter, Cox, Mediacom, and Time Warner Cable, with Genachowski saying that more than a million subs conducted speed tests using FCC-supplied apps.
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