FCC aims to measure home broadband speeds

The Federal Communications Commission wants to find out whether broadband providers are delivering internet connections that are as fast as advertised, reports the Associated Press—and so the agency is seeking 10,000 volunteers to take part in a study of residential broadband speeds. Specialized equipment will be installed in homes across the country to measure internet connections. Those results then will be compared with advertised speeds. The agency hopes to get a cross section of volunteers who subscribe to broadband services provided by a range of phone and cable TV companies. The new project grows out of several proposals outlined in the FCC’s national broadband plan, released in March. “The big issue here is knowing what you are paying for,” said Joel Gurin, who heads the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. According to data cited in the national broadband plan, average residential download speeds are typically only half as fast as the maximum speeds advertised by U.S. broadband providers. The FCC will summarize its findings on home broadband connections in a report later this year. The commission also is seeking input on ways to measure mobile broadband speeds. Broadband subscribers who want to participate in the FCC’s new study can register at www.TestMyISP.com

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