FCC recruits cable modem, DSL subscribers for Measuring Broadband America tests
Setting the stage for a new barrage of ad campaigns about broadband speeds from Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and other providers, the FCC is seeking volunteers for its 2012 Measuring Broadband America tests that are aimed at determining if high-speed providers are delivering the download speeds they advertise to consumers.
Last August, the FCC released a report that found that Cablevision was delivering high-speed Internet service during peak hours that fell short of its advertised speeds. That prompted Verizon to launch an ad campaign that mocked Cablevision's Internet speeds, and led to Cablevision returning fire with its own campaign and a lawsuit that alleged false advertising.
According to an FCC notice, the commission is seeking volunteers from several broadband ISPs for a new round of tests, including customers of Verizon, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), Cox Communications, Cablevision, CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), AT&T (NYSE: T), Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) and Insight Communications.
FCC contractor SamKnows will provide volunteers in the test with a router that'll measure broadband speeds. The FCC said it'll kick off the tests in March, and that it'll release two "Measuring Broadband America" reports later this year.
In its initial report last August, the FCC found that on average, DSL-based services delivered download speeds that were 82 percent of advertised speeds, while cable modem services delivered 93 percent of advertised speeds. It found that fiber-to-the-home services delivered 114 percent of advertised speeds.
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