As we’ve noted in previous posts, the FCC is intent on measuring the actual vs. advertised consumer broadband speeds across the nation, this as part of its broadband speed initiative, which is being coordinated by the Commission’s Consumer Task Force.

Based on the results of a recent survey conducted for the FCC by Abt/SRBI and Princeton Survey Research Associates, there’s good reason for, and value in, doing so. The survey found that 80% of broadband users in the US do not know their broadband connection speed. Despite this, most survey respondents–91%–said they were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the speed of their connections.

“Better information can help all consumers choose the broadband services that best meet their needs,” said Joel Gurin, Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the FCC. “Today, most people just know that their home broadband speed is supposed to be ‘blazing fast.’

Moving this effort forward, the Consumer Task Force also announced two supporting initiatives: One asking for 10,000 volunteers to participate in a scientific study to measure home broadband speed and a second, detailed in a Public Notice, soliciting input on ways to measure mobile broadband speed.

As part of this process, conducted in partnership with UK-based SamKnows, which conducted a similar survey for the UK telecoms regulator, specialized hardware will be installed in volunteers’ homes to measure the performance of all the major Internet Service Providers in the US across geographic regions and service tiers.

Those willing to volunteer can register at A Public Notice seeking comment on the test plan was released in April.

When it came to satisfaction with their mobile broadband speeds, 71% of customers said they were satisfied as compared to 92% who said they were satisfied with their cell phone service.  The FCC is also accepting suggestions on the best way to measure actual mobile broadband speeds.

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2 thoughts on “FCC: Broadband Customers Are Satisfied, But Have No Idea About Their Speed

  1. When are people finally going to GET-IT! All of the speed measurments that are going on are measuring end-to-end connections speed which seldom has any resembalance to the speed that the customer has purchased from the Internet provider if the provider is using Fiber to the Home or Premise, Digital Subscriber Line Technology or in some cases the up graded Cable TV systems.

    In my state the firm doing the Internet Mapping have their test of speeds go across two other states where there are probably a have dozen routers involved, two, three or four different transport providers, Etc. Measurements of speeds to half a dozen other sites show faster speeds.

    Computer "experts" have told me that the main reason for a customer to not get the speed that they purchased from their ISP is within their own computer. SpeedMatters down plays this – to achieve their story that the speeds in the USA are really slow.

  2. Makes you wonder why SPs spend so much time advertising speeds. Customers don't know the difference between 20 Mb and 50 mb. I wonder though if they look at those speed claims and just pick the fastest they see, not really understanding the difference.

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