As part of the National Broadband Plan the FCC was tasked with providing more transparency in broadband information for consumers. In Part II of our Measuring Broadband America summary, the FCC tested web site performance measures versus broadband provider. They found that latency varies with broadband type (DSL, Cable, and Fiber), and that average web page download times changed little above 10-12 Mbps. Part I of this report showed the broadband performance of 13 different ISPs at different bandwidths.
As part of the National Broadband Plan the FCC was tasked with providing more transparency in broadband information for consumers. Their latest Measuring Broadband America report tests large ISP claims of advertised speeds versus actual speeds, latency, and web page download times. This article summarizes the report and gives major findings related to web performance including:
Despite the Obama administration’s promise of “universal access” to broadband in the US, rural areas have been left behind in wired broadband availability. To close this “broadband gap” low-population-density rural areas are adopting wireless broadband faster than urban areas, according to a recent study by Georgetown University (Macher & Mayo 2011). Will spectrum supply keep up with demand?
Each year, the FCC is tasked with reporting on the state of broadband adoption in the United States as compared to the rest of the world. The FCC’s second International Broadband Data Report presents comparative data from multiple sources on the extent of international broadband service capacity based on the best data available. The report found that there is a significant correlation between broadband adoption and income, population, and population density, with the strongest correlations from GDP and population density.
Michael Copps of the FCC said that the US needs a “broadband czar” to coordinate how government agencies promote broadband. At a recent meeting in North Carolina to promote the state’s spread of broadband, speakers emphasized the need for a coordinated effort in the US in order to compete worldwide. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration approached 90% in May, only a rounding error away. Overall, US broadband penetration in less than 60% among US households, and is ranked 17th worldwide.
Over two-thirds of the world’s population have a mobile phone subscription, according to a recent report by the ITU.
Mobile subscriptions drive wireless broadband growth,
with mobile broadband growing faster than fixed broadband lines and second only to mobile phone growth itself.
Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration grew to 95.1% among active Internet users
in January 2010.
North America and the US are the heaviest users of the Internet, surpassing Europe and Asia according to a recent study. Despite remaining in 15th place overall in broadband penetration (OECD 2009), the US leads the world in broadband users, and is essentially tied for second with France in overall usage, behind only South Korea. Among active Internet users, broadband penetration in US homes jumped to 94.45% in November 2009.
The FCC has identified key broadband gaps in US broadband policy. A Harvard study commissioned by the FCC found that open access to broadband lines through local loop “unbundling” is one key factor in fostering widespread adoption of broadband in the US and other countries. Meanwhile in the US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 93.27%.
The FCC has approved the regulated use of the “white spaces” between and among the unused analog TV channels, for unlicensed devices. With the transition to digital television by February 2009, the soon to be empty analog channels can be used for other purposes. Some estimate that wireless providers could use the lower frequency TV spectrum to provide universal broadband access for every household in America for as little as $10 per month (Calabrese and Scott 2006). In other news, among active Internet users, broadband penetration in the US grew to 92.08% in October 2008, up 0.28 percentage points over last month.
YouTube continues to dominate the top video sites tracked by Nielsen Online. Updating last year’s top 10 video site survey this year we find YouTube even further ahead of its nearest “competitor,” Google. As of July 2008, YouTube had more than 7.5 times more unique viewers than Google Video. Combined together, Google properties YouTube and Google Video have over 88 million unique viewers, and make up over 36% of the share of videos viewed on the Internet. A recent study by the Communications Workers of America revealed that the US ranks 15th worldwide in broadband speed. In other news, US broadband penetration crept up 0.27 percentage points to 90.76% in July 2008.