NCTA: FCC Report Shows ISPs Delivering On Speed Promises

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association said Wednesday that the FCC's latest broadband speed test—conducted in cooperation with major ISPs/NCTA members—"helps to refute the unsubstantiated allegations that cable operators routinely under-deliver and are solely responsible for any deficiencies in the performance experienced by consumers."

The FCC found that, on average, almost all ISPs are meeting or beating advertised speeds to the tune of over 100%.

In a blog posting, the association points out that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, in announcing a review of interconnection deals last week, said the FCC needed to know what was going on so that consumers "get what they pay for."

"Today, with the release of the fourth Measuring Broadband America report, the Commission demonstrates that consumers do, in fact, 'get what they pay for' when they purchase broadband Internet access service," said NCTA. "The report’s findings, which are based on over 8 billion measurements, underscore that the U.S. enjoys a healthy, growing, and competitive broadband marketplace."

The FCC also found, not surprisingly, that consumers are moving to faster tiers, which NCTA said was "reflective of the fact that broadband providers are consistently working to improve service, quality, and reach."

The FCC's conclusion was that ISPs are consistently improving their speeds, but some have some definite room for improvement.

The FCC also found some congestion at interconnection points that was not the subject of the test, but would be the subject of further study, as Wheeler signaled last week.

NCTA seemed OK with that. "The Measuring Broadband America report highlights the need for additional information regarding aspects of the Internet other than access service provided by ISPs," it said. "As the report explains, the Commission has only been measuring performance over the local access network, and there are many other factors beyond an ISP's control – upstream congestion or performance limitations of computers or Wi-Fi routers to name a few – that also affect the consumer Internet experience."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.