Front Page WSJ:‘It’s Hard to Trust the Numbers.’ Internet Providers Inflate Official Speed Results

Summary from Benton Institute:

The Federal Communications Commission’s nearly decade-old program, Measuring Broadband America, is the US government’s gauge of whether home internet-service providers are holding up their end of the bargain when they promise users certain speeds. Companies wield tremendous influence over the study and often employ tactics to boost their scores, according to interviews with more than two dozen industry executives, engineers and government officials. As a result, the FCC’s report likely gives consumers an unreliable measure of internet providers’ performances by overstating speeds. “It’s hard to trust the numbers when you know” of efforts to massage the results, said veteran cable and telecom consultant Mark Lubow. 

Internet experts and former FCC officials said the setup gives the internet companies enormous leverage. “How can you go to the party who controls the information and say, ‘please give me information that may implicate you?’ ” said Tom Wheeler, a former FCC chairman who stepped down in Jan 2017. Internet experts said the FCC’s entire testing approach needs to be rethought to be more useful for consumers. The current test measures how much capacity internet providers supply to a household, in a vacuum, but doesn’t monitor the internet performance that users actually experience while streaming, gaming or surfing the Web, which can be affected by overtaxed neighborhood networks, Wi-Fi interference or traffic jams deep in the guts of the internet.

The full article is HERE.

This is nothing new, the cheating by the broadband Telcos was identified and presented to the California Public Utilities Commission in 2012, seven years ago.  My story is HERE

One thought on “Front Page WSJ:‘It’s Hard to Trust the Numbers.’ Internet Providers Inflate Official Speed Results

  1. nelsonminar December 14, 2019 / 5:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing this kind of detailed info. It’s clear that cell companies and ISPs regularly mislead the public about their service, but I hadn’t realized they were directly gaming the FCC’s own tests. I wonder if Ajit Pai cares?


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