Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

FCC Releases Report On Broadband Performance

The FCC has released a report that measures broadband performance. The report's major findings:


· For most major broadband providers, actual speeds are generally 80%-90% of advertised speeds or better, although performance varies by technology and service provider.

 · Even during peak usage periods—between 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm on weeknights, when more home users are online and service quality declines—most major broadband providers deliver actual speeds that are 80% of advertised speeds or better.

· That’s significantly better than a study of 2009 broadband performance in the U.S. and a recent study of broadband performance in the UK, both of which found actual speeds were roughly 50% of advertised. · All technologies measured – DSL, cable, and fiber-to-the-home broadband – can deliver good service to consumers depending on their needs.

· While download speed is the major factor affecting service performance, upload speed and latency (lag time in transmitting data) also matter for some applications.

· Increased speed improves performance, but with some limits. For basic Web browsing—viewing web pages but not downloading or streaming online video—performance improves as speeds increase, but only up to ~10 Mbps. However, high-demand applications like video conferencing, HD video streaming, gaming, or multiple activities occurring within one household may benefit from very high speeds.

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