FCC’s “Measuring Broadband America” Report Tells Only Half the Story

It’s time to look at demand for Internet bandwidth

The recently published FCC Measuring Broadband America report, which publicizes measurements of US ISPs' broadband performance, covers only half of the broadband performance equation--the supply half. NetForecast believes it is time for the FCC to expand its investigation to include the demand half of the equation--the prodigious growth in resource consumption by major websites, browsers, and behind-the-scenes services. An FCC investigation into the rest of the equation will uncover the need for an Energy Star equivalent for Internet applications such as Google and Facebook.

NetForecast presents this and other conclusions about the FCC's Measuring Broadband America publication in a report available here. In subsequent postings, we will publish sections of NetForecast's analysis of the FCC's report.

In NetForecast's view, the FCC report is the most thorough and accurate account to date of the true performance delivered by US ISPs. However, in addition to not addressing the supply half of the broadband performance equation, the report falls short in several respects. Most notably: some of the test servers introduced data inconsistencies and errors; there is insufficient data analysis transparency; and the FCC incorrectly uses the terms 'speed' and 'bandwidth' interchangeably.

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