Internet speed test: Cable Lobby and the Broadband Competition in the U.S

Posted by  theteleg   in       4 months ago     482 Views     Comments Off on Internet speed test: Cable Lobby and the Broadband Competition in the U.S  

In terms of internet speed test, broadband is any high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access. Given the fact that the FCC recently bumped the standard definition of broadband to 25 Mbps to highlight competition gaps; reclassified ISPs as common carriers; passed real net neutrality rules for the first time ever; taken aim at the industry’s use of protectionist state law to keep the duopoly intact; pushed for improved broadband privacy rules. 

Indeed today broadband industry lobby groups like cable lobby want to stop internet speed test investigations from individual states on claims made by service providers, and they are citing the F.C.C rules in their effort to hinder the state-level actions.

The industry attempt to undercut state internet speed test investigations comes a few months after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Charter and its Time Warner Cable (TWC) subsidiary that claims the ISP defrauded and misled New Yorkers by promising Internet speeds the company knew it could not deliver.

Charter last month asked a New York state judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Schneiderman, saying that FCC rules should prevent the case from moving forward.

But the 35 attorneys general say the industry petition “ignores the Federal Communications Act’s preservation of concurrent state authority over unfair and deceptive practices,” as well as the history, purpose, and text of the FCC’s transparency rule. There is also nothing in the Communications Act that “preempts state anti-fraud or consumer-protection claims or reflects any intention by Congress to make federal law the exclusive means of bringing such claims against broadband providers,” the states’ law enforcement officials said.

Disclosures made to comply with federal law do not alter companies’ obligations under state law, the attorneys general wrote.

In spite of living in one of the largest and most rural nations, 88 percent of American consumers can choose from at least two wired Internet service providers. When you include competition from mobile and satellite broadband providers, much of America is home to multiple competing ISPs leveraging different and ever-improving technologies. This competition has led to rapid progress in the quality of consumer internet connections with average peak speeds in America quadrupling over the last five years, from 23.4 Mbps to 86.5 Mbps and the average price per megabit dropping 90 percent in 10 years, from $9.01 per megabit per second to $0.89 per megabit per second.

Many Americans who feel that they have only one viable choice for home broadband might think that cable lobbyists are describing an alternate reality. But it’s easy to see the difference between NCTA marketing and Internet users’ actual experiences. Yes, if you factor in any wireline home Internet provider offering any speed, then US customers can generally choose between a fast cable network and a slow DSL one. But if one of your two options isn’t fast enough to meet your needs, then there’s really just one choice. 

So for the FCC, high speeds would mean much less competition using the 25Mbps definition which shows that tens of millions of US households have at most one option for fast home Internet services.

Out of 118 million US households, more than 10.6 million have no access to wired Internet service with download speeds of at least 25Mbps and do not have any access to any internet speed test to confirm their internet speeds. An additional 46.1 million households live in areas with just one provider offering those speeds (as we noted in a recent story). Even including fixed wireless connections, there were still nearly 50 million households with one 25Mbps provider or none at all, based on the analysis of FCC data.

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A blog scientist by the mind and a passionate blogger by heart ❤️. Fountainhead of TheTelegraff (Award winning blog), speaker at various international forums, and has done several ghost writing articles for international magazines and blogs. Life motto: Live while you can! Teach & inspire while you could & Smile while you have the teeth. Send me an email: