ISPs to NY State Speed Probe: Bring It On

Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Communications all say they will cooperate with New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman as he opens a probe into whether they are providing the speeds for which subscribers are paying.

The investigation’s focus will include interconnection arrangements between ISPs and content providers such as Netflix, according to Reuters. Per a copy of a letter, posted by Ars Technica, ISps are also being asked identify, since January 2, 2013, when an interconnection partner requested augmentation of interconnection capacity that the ISP did not implement within ninety days, and to explain why capacity was not augmented. 

Among the three ISPs that received letters, Verizon and Time Warner Cable have paid interconnection deals with Netflix; Cablevision is a partner in Open Connect, Netflix’s private CDN program that relies on single-purpose edge caches. The FCC's new network neutrality rules allow for a case-by-case complaint process with respect to interconnection issues.

Reuters said each ISP has been requested to provide disclosures made to customers with respect to broadband service and to provide data on any speed tests they’ve conducted.The letter also asks for documentation on last-mile broadband speeds, divided by classes of customers and to provide data on the speeds experienced during various times of day. 

The ISPs said they will comply with the requests, which are seeking written reponses, along with supported documentation, by November 8, 2015.

"We're confident that we provide our customers the speeds and services we promise them and look forward to working with the AG to resolve this matter," Time Warner Cable spokesman Bobby Amirshahi said, according to the report.

“Verizon is confident in the robust and reliable Internet speeds it delivers to subscribers,” a Verizon spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to working cooperatively with the Attorney General’s office.”

“Optimum Online consistently surpasses advertised broadband speeds, including in FCC and internal tests,” a Cablevision spokesperson said. “We are happy to provide any necessary performance information to the Attorney General as we do to our customers.”

Recent FCC data seems to amplify why the providers are expressing such confidence.

In June, the FCC’s fourth Measuring Broadband America report, based on nationwide tests of fixed broadband speeds, found that, on average, that the ISPs sampled were delivering 101% of advertised download speeds, compared to 97% in 2013, but allowed that some ISPs had “significant room for improvement” with respect to the consistency of the speeds delivered.