A new FCC study is reporting dramatic differences between the “up to” figures touted by phone and cable companies in promoting their web connections and the internet speeds consumers actually get, WalletPop reports. According to the FCC, the differences exist no matter how consumers get their broadband. “Actual download speeds experienced by U.S. consumers lag advertised speed by roughly 50 percent,” according to an FCC technical report released this week. While saying clearly that consumers are unlikely to get a download at the advertised speed, the FCC was less specific on whether this is because internet providers are fudging in their ads. Computer performance, local Wi-Fi network hardware and configuration issues, and overburdened internet sites could be contributing to the slower speeds, it said. “‘Cheated’ is a strong term,” said Benjamin Lennett, senior policy analyst for the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, which analyzed the FCC report. But “clearly, there is a problem going on.” The FCC report said that, in 2009, consumers subscribed to connections advertised as averaging a speed of up to 8 megabytes per second. The average download speed consumers actually got was 4 megabytes per second, and heavy internet downloaders got about 3 megabytes per second for their average downloads. The report also said that the differences between the advertised speed and the actual speed occurred whether the internet came by fiber, cable, DSL, or satellite……Read More
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University of Virginia considers joint application for Google Fiber
The University of Virginia is considering applying jointly with the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to become a pilot community for the installation of Google Fiber, a fiber-optic network that could produce internet speeds greater than 1 gigabit per second, reports the Cavalier Daily. That’s more than 100 times faster than the broadband connections most Americans can currently access, all at a price that Google says is competitive. “Google has announced publicly that it’s looking for communities to install ultra high-speed internet,” Charlottesville City Council member David Brown said about the nomination process, which Google will conduct by accepting applications and online votes until March 26. “We’re very interested.” (See “Google to build ultra-fast web networks.”) The university would benefit from the many opportunities this technology would bring. For example, faculty members and students living off campus would have access to the same internet speed provided by the university, said Jeffrey Plank, associate vice president for research……Read More