Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Broadband news

Two quick reports coming out that are signs of the continued expansion of broadband in the U.S. 

First, the FCC reports that its latest findings are that service providers are largely delivering on advertised top broadband speeds (an earlier report suggested that many providers were failing to match claimed data rates).  Specifically, the FCC looked at sustained download speeds during peak demand, and found they ranged from an average of 82% to 114% of advertised speeds.  Sustained upload speeds during peak periods averaged between 95% and 112% of advertised speeds.  Speeds are generally lowest during peak demand, so this suggests that broadband network upgrades and expansions have been helpful.

Also, there are reports that an agreement has been reached between large broadband carriers and several associations of smaller rural carriers regarding a broadband Universal Service Fund (USF).  USFs are a mechanism that helps subsidize construction and operation of telecomm networks in high-cost areas so that services can be offered at reasonably competitive rates.  Three rural carrier associations, six large carriers, and the U.S. Telecom Association sent the FCC a letter outlining a plan to transition the existing basic telephone USF to one that focuses on broadband services. If, or when, the FCC agrees, current and future funds accruing in the USF can be directed to expanding broadband services in high cost areas more rapidly.

While neither report is earth-shattering news, combined they provide support for continued expansion of broadband services in the U.S..

Sources: "FCC: Broadband providers now largely delivering advertised broadband speeds", Connected Planet
"Rural carrier associations confirm agreement with large carriers on broadband USF funding", Connected Planet

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