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Internet Speeds Are Often Slower Than What Consumers Pay For, FCC Finds

The small army at the FCC trying to figure out how to bring broadband Internet to all American homes gave their half-time report Tuesday at the agency. Lots of takeways about how much it would cost and how networks aren't up to snuff, according to a study by the FCC. But here is one data point that really stood out to this reporter:

-Actual broadband speeds lag advertised speeds by as much as 50% to 80%.

So more than half the time, and sometimes as much as eight out of ten times, consumers are paying for slower Internet access speed than they signed up for.

Joel Kelsey, a policy analyst at Consumers Union, says he's heard many such complaints from users and has pushed for the Federal Trade Commission to take up a review under truth in advertising laws. A spokeswoman at the FTC said the agency doesn't publically disclose all of its investigations.

"This speaks to consumer empowerment. And if you are advertising one speed but delivering another, that takes power away," Kelsey said. "Consumers can't make accurate decisions based on quality of service from one provider off another."

Other takeaways: It could cost between $20 billion and $350 billion to accomplish the task, depending on if you want to just send e-mail with large PDF files or watch HD videos over the Web. And even the networks in place now aren't robust enough to meet the kind of traffic expected down the line.

"A constrained network dictates investment needs in infrastructure," the FCC's broadband task force said in its report. About 1% of users drive 20% of traffic, while 20% of users drive up to 80% of traffic, according to the release.

- Three to six million people are unserved by basic broadband (speeds of 768 Kbps or less).

-Nearly 2/3 of Americans have adopted broadband at home, while 33% have access but have not adopted it, and another 4% say they have no access where they live.

-Universal Service Fund recipients have made progress bringing broadband to rural America, but the fund faces systemic and structural problems.

All of these data points will go to informing a game plan being crafted by the task force. Blair Levin, former chief of staff to chairman Reed Hundt, is leading the group and required by Congress to present a final plan on Feb. 17.

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 29, 2009; 8:07 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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This number is not unexpected. ISPs are compelled to publish "up to" speeds by their competitors' advertising and the shortness of consumers' attention spans (they want to base their decisions on a single number rather than learning what numbers mean). My ISP is one of the few that publishes guaranteed MINIMUM throughputs. And -- guess what? -- we pay dearly for that at times, because some would-be customers compare those numbers to the cable and telephone companies' "up to" speeds.

Of course, the reason why users aren't impressed with the actual (as opposed to "up to") speed of broadband in our rural area is that bandwidth is extremely expensive at wholesale. The FCC should be addressing this issue -- which is misleadingly dubbed "special access" -- instead of wasting time on unnecessary "network neutrality" regulation.

Brett Glass
Owner and founder, LARIAT
The world's first Wireless ISP (WISP)

Posted by: squirma | September 29, 2009 3:40 PM

Brett, I'm sorry, but for us consumers, network neutrality IS necessary.

ISP's have already blocked or slowed down content that they disagreed with politically, or from their competitors. An ISP is my connection to the Internet. As such, it has a stranglehold on my ability to access information, do my job, or enjoy my leisure time.

Basic net neutrality rules - which simply say you cannot discriminate against legal content or applications, except as needed for network management - are VITAL for a free Internet and for a free society.

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | September 29, 2009 6:46 PM

Brett,

I was right with you there, until the last sentence.

"Net neutrality" is an even bigger consumer issue than access speed. If the ISP can block portions of the Internet that I want to access, then it matters little if my connection speed is 100Mb. I am still blocked from content that I want to access.

We need to end ISP filtering and blocking that only serves to allow the ISP to provide the promised connection speed at a lower cost of operation. It may be for economic reasons now, but it is the first step on a slippery slope to political censorship.

Posted by: hisroc | September 29, 2009 8:55 PM

Folks, you're obviously not in the ISP business. I am, and I speak to my customers every day. Ask them what they want, and not a single consumer says anything about "neutrality." And no wonder; there isn't even a definition of "network neutrality." Every lobbying group defines it in a way that serves its own patrons, though you'll hear Google's agenda more often than others because Google is paying a lot of so-called "public interest" groups to push regulation that would be good for it and bad for the public.

What's more, there has been no instance of an ISP in the United States censoring content. Ever. It's totally a bogeyman, ginned up by lobbyists as a fallacious argument for regulation.

What DO consumers say they want? Every one says, "Speed, speed, speed!" And ISPs and their engineers can't provide users with good performance if their hands are tied by regulation... or if the FCC ignores the predatory pricing that is being foisted on them by the incumbents.

--Brett Glass

Posted by: squirma | September 29, 2009 9:43 PM

Folks, you're obviously not in the ISP business. I am, and I speak to my customers every day. Ask them what they want, and not a single consumer says anything about "neutrality." And no wonder; there isn't even a definition of "network neutrality." Every lobbying group defines it in a way that serves its own patrons, though you'll hear Google's agenda more often than others because Google is paying a lot of so-called "public interest" groups to push regulation that would be good for it and bad for the public.

What's more, there has been no instance of an ISP in the United States censoring content. Ever. It's totally a bogeyman, ginned up by lobbyists as a fallacious argument for regulation.

What DO consumers say they want? Every one says, "Speed, speed, speed!" And ISPs and their engineers can't provide users with good performance if their hands are tied by regulation... or if the FCC ignores the predatory pricing that is being foisted on them by the incumbents.

--Brett Glass

Posted by: squirma | September 29, 2009 9:45 PM

Brett,

"...I speak to my customers every day. Ask them what they want, and not a single consumer says anything about 'neutrality.'"

That is very likely why I am not one of your customers. You remind me of the cable guy on the Verizon commercials who asks, "Why are we listening to our customers?" during the focus group interview.

"What's more, there has been no instance of an ISP in the United States censoring content."

Oh, really? Verizon FiOS recently shut down access to NewsGroups completely. Other ISP block numerous peer-to-peer file sharing sites and applications.

Posted by: hisroc | September 29, 2009 10:00 PM

Brett, I'm sorry, but I seriously doubt that 99% of your customers have any clue that without net neutrality, ISPs can:

* Completely block access to any web site that they feel like

* Slow down or cripple any web site or service that they feel like

* Set up their own applications and content, and cripple anything that competes with them

* Extort payments from web sites to allow adequate performance

Most people would be absolutely horrified at the mere thought that an ISP would even consider doing such things.

Yet preventing that ability is what net neutrality is all about.

If they had ANY understanding of the issues, it would be most customers number one concern.

I don't primarily hear about net neutrality from Google though I devoutly thank God for Google's involvement. I believe they are right. I've read dozens of articles about net neutrality, including the point/counterpoint writeup in the ACM magazine.

There's no question in most people's mind about what the core of net neutrality is - an Internet where the ISPs mind their own bloody business and provide a pipe, and charge for its use, and the customer gets to choose what they want flowing down that pipe.

I could give a rat's patoot about how fast any ISP is if they're playing Internet censor.

The only way ISPs can get away with it is if people are kept in the dark - which, BTW, is a lot easier if your ISP can censor what information we can read.

I also notice you specifically say this has not happened in the US - probably because you're aware of the Canada ISP blocking access to the union web site they were in negotiations with. Disingenuous much?

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | September 29, 2009 10:15 PM

One example of ISP's in the US blocking content (from Wired magazine, at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/09/net-neutrality-announcement/ )

"The second new rule is intended to prevent a repeat of Comcast’s blocking of peer-to-peer traffic, which was discovered by an engineer having trouble sharing public-domain barbershop-quartet songs on the net. Comcast denied for months that it was blocking the traffic, and only after a year of substantial pressure from the FCC did the company explain what it was doing."

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | September 29, 2009 10:40 PM

Comcast did not censor content. In fact, the Associated Press proved that when, during its own test, it demonstrated that Comcast's system prevented abuse by P2P software the same way whether the content being transferred was illegal music or the King James Bible.

What Comcast was doing was preventing the abuse of its network. Comcast's residential subscribers agree, when they sign up, not to abuse the network by running servers or P2P. Comcast was merely enforcing that reasonable restriction, and was doing it in a way that was absolutely content-neutral.

Posted by: squirma | September 29, 2009 10:52 PM

Oh, and by the way, there is indeed one known incident of a Canadian ISP blocking content. However, given that the content consisted of illegal death threats (one man who was an object of the threats packed up his family and left town!), and that the blocking was fully supported by a court, it seems that in that case it was appropriate.

Posted by: squirma | September 29, 2009 10:55 PM

Let's face it, Brett does not want "net neutrality" because of tiered pricing.

The more MB a user is down-loading, the more the the company wants from that user.

In Brett's eyes, internet service is under-priced, that means all of you band-width hoggers get to pay premium price for your internet use.

Me, it is always fun when I read posts from people who claim they want to do the right thing. The Internet doesn't need people like Brett.

NET Neutrality, not cell phone tpye tiered pricing.

Posted by: smtpgirl08 | September 29, 2009 11:17 PM

Actually, squirma, the case in Canada of blocking was Telus, blocking the web site of members of the union they were negotiating with.

It did not involve death threats. Not sure what you're talking about.

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | September 29, 2009 11:22 PM

squirma, dude, you must work for Comcast, because none of their customers would actually defend them. Comcast has been caught -lying- to the FCC about its throttling practices. As a former customer, I witnessed firsthand how Comcast would dump my connection whenever I was streaming video from Netflix. Why? They have competing on-demand video service. I read my f ing contract--believe it or not. P2P is mentioned in it, but by throttling my connection with Netflix they were violating their own user agreement.
Blocking content is different than throttling. You seem to be playing games with semantics.
The FCC needs to break up Comcast's internet monopoly like it busted AT&T.

ps. Comcast is already a major investor in WiMAX. So, Mr. Glass, prepare to be bought out by Comcast (if it hasn't already happened.)

Posted by: bikes-everywhere | September 29, 2009 11:24 PM

Brett,

You are on the losing side of this argument and your bias is obvious. Your position reminds me of the days when Ma' Bell monopolized the access to the end user phone line and tried to block discount long distance providers from being available to home users. Bell was charging exorbitant long distance rates that had little or nothing to do with the actual cost of the service.

Ma' Bell lost and ISP like you will also lose. It is only a matter of time before the consumers realize what the ISP are doing to them and demand reform. That has already begun and is gaining momentum.

Start thinking about a new business model if you want to stay in business.

Posted by: hisroc | September 29, 2009 11:25 PM

Squirma, Comcast did indeed censor content - ironically enough, using the same blocking technique often used by repressive regimes.

The fact - and it is a fact - is that Comcast, when it intermittently blocks content from a site, it blocks all content, legal or not.

It was blocking perfectly legal content that led to the discovery of Comcast's blocking.

Comcast's residential subscribers do not agree, when they sign up, not to run servers or P2P. No such agreement is signed.

In fact, Comcast actually repeatedly DENIED that it was blocking the site, until forced by the FCC to admit it.

To recap, Comcast did not enforce an agreement, because in fact no such agreement exists.

Comcast lied about the existence of such blocking.

Comcast did not admit it until after repeated FCC involvement.

And until recently (a year ago or so's Black Hat conference) there was no publicly available way for the average person to check for such blocking - and I'm not sure how many average people would know where to go or what to do to check even now that a tool is available.

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | September 29, 2009 11:30 PM

From the Wired article on the subject:

"The second new rule is intended to prevent a repeat of Comcast’s blocking of peer-to-peer traffic, which was discovered by an engineer having trouble sharing public-domain barbershop-quartet songs on the net. Comcast denied for months that it was blocking the traffic, and only after a year of substantial pressure from the FCC did the company explain what it was doing."

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/09/net-neutrality-announcement/

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | September 29, 2009 11:33 PM

I also noticed that Brett's company "guarantees" speeds, but aurely those sppeds could be faster if they are indeed on their backbone. RESELLER. Surely, he could offer faster speeds at the price that you will pay in Laramie, WY.

If the user is somewhat computer saavy, they could have their own print server and use a switch or wireless router. So if you need a static IP, it is $10 for each, so the user loses the other 5 IP's on that address block, oh joy Brett.


Posted by: smtpgirl08 | September 29, 2009 11:34 PM

$500 a month for a T-1???

Wow, way too high

Posted by: smtpgirl08 | September 29, 2009 11:43 PM

Brett also forgot to mention, that his website has 2004 pricing. The D-Link router was discontinued in 2008.

Micro Center offers better hardware.

I guess he is the "geek squad" of Laramie, overpriced hardware with "kid glove" treatment. Most routers/switches sold today have stateful packet inspection in the hardware already, so why would he charge more for just looking at a GUI in an internet browser session? The IP/Subnet/Gateway should be in the GUI, unless there was a fat finger in the data entry.

Posted by: smtpgirl08 | September 30, 2009 12:02 AM

Brett, how much do you charge for a true IP block?

That means I bought 8 IP adresses with 6 usable IP addresses to do what I want with.

Will you charge me for "extraneous" charges, 'cause sometimes I upload my businesses monthly earnings from outside sales people that could entail numerous pdf docs.

I'll bet you would charge me extra for the band-width, since you are the "band-width" gestapo.

Posted by: smtpgirl08 | September 30, 2009 12:25 AM

Not all computer users are mucks either, so don't patronize.

As I see it, the posters have a legitimate argument with your kind.

DNS & reverse lookup, not all that hard, I have done this for a number of years.

You could do a better service to talk to not down. You have obviously not seen a tech support room in decades.

How would you help someone with a gotomeeting session? Or you charge for that too?

Posted by: smtpgirl08 | September 30, 2009 12:37 AM

It's about time. Next, I'd hope they'd examine ludicrous cable rates, but cable isn't a necessity, so a blind eye is turned to collusion.

Posted by: Crucialitis | September 30, 2009 1:26 AM

The reference to 'Ma Bell' reminds me of when I was in college, and the college radio station broadcast high school Sectional basketball games. This was in Indiana, and if anyone knows about Indiana and high school basketball, you'll know why we broadcast the Sectional games (hint - the movie 'Hoosiers' was not based on fiction).

The Sectional was held in an adjacent city about 15 miles from the college station studios. The adjacent city was served by the same telephone company (non-Bell) as the city in which the college station was located. However, it was a 'long-distance' charge for calling from one city to the other, so the 'long-distance' call of the broadcast was carried over 'Ma Bell' lines, and routed to a city about 75 miles away, then another 75 miles back to the college station. The costs for the broadcast were inflated by at least 3 times than if we paid normal toll charges between the two cities (the one where the Sectional was held and the one where the station studios were located).

So what did 'Ma Bell' add? Added charges, and an additional 135 miles of lines where troubles might develop in the broadcast signal. Sounds to me like some 'local' ISPs are trying to play the same type of con-game with customers as 'Ma Bell' did with customers several decades ago.

Posted by: critter69 | September 30, 2009 5:37 AM

"is that bandwidth is extremely expensive at wholesale."

Bob,

You're clearly a smart man, but that isn't the reason the big ISP are playing this game about bandwidth.

You're stuck in this look because you're the guy at the end of the network, so you're at the mercy of actually paying for your bandwidth through a backbone provider.

I won't speak down to you because you know your business, but do you seriously think that Verizon, Comcast and other mega ISP's actually pay wholesale rates for bandwidth? That's what the little guys pay for. At this level, the rest of the networks simply want the traffic because you can't afford to not be connected to the guys who control the endpoints to the network. Thus a discussion of ISP transit fees is far more interesting and relevant than whole bandwidth costs.

No no, what we need to focus on is the taxes/funds that were set up precisely to pay for high-speed bandwidth; 100's of billion of dollars have been given to the ISP to build and provide that high-speed links to consumers, the ISP have taken the money, kept it and said "Oh, we can't afford to build high-speed networks". That's a national scandal, but nobody is interested in talking about it. It's amazing. I suspect the telcoms have greased a lot of palms to continue taking all that money for nothing.

Meanwhile, after building out these huge high-speed networks, they want to cap our usage primary to save themselves money because they no longer are interested in investment in infrastructure.

And before any of you argue with me, simply check the profits of all the major ISPs (I did). Look in their annual reports to see the massive profits these guys are making on the internet, and then you tell me if downloaders are "stealing from the rest of us". And the sad part is the newspapers and people buy into it without doing 10 minutes of research on the topic. Another scandal.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | September 30, 2009 6:07 AM

Why did a column on deceptive trade practices of ISPs turn into a lecture against net neutrality?

Posted by: solsticebelle | September 30, 2009 7:45 AM

Lost in the attacks on Brett's position on net neutrality is his recommendation that the FCC act on special access. Brett is exactly right on that point.

Special access is a complicated issue and not as easy to understand as the net neutrality principles espoused by Chairman Genachowski, but it's a problem which left unchecked by the FCC will continue to wreck our economy and drive up costs for every business and consumer who accesses the Internet, uses an ATM machine or makes a wireless phone call.

Yesterday, a coalition of consumer groups and businesses released a new video which explains this issue.

In the spirit of transparency, I should tell you Sprint is a part of the coalition. (So are quite a few net neutrality advocates and consumer groups.) You can learn more at the coalition's website: http://nochokepoints.org or watch the video: http://bit.ly/n6ONt

If the FCC would act to fix the special access problem, ISPs, CLECs and wireless carriers would have more capital to improve network speeds and give consumers what they are clamoring for, but until it acts, we will all be overpaying AT&T, Verizon and the other landline phone companies.

John Taylor
Public Affairs
Sprint Nextel Corp.

Posted by: John_Taylor | September 30, 2009 11:10 AM

Hmmm.... I detect spamming by lobbyists. As well as unwarranted ad hominem attacks.

In any event, I'll quickly respond to several of the most egregiously misleading statements above.

First of all, ISPs cannot and will not do such things as engage in "extortion" or "crippling" of Web sites. (This inflammatory language is an example of the misleading rhetoric which is being used to support unnecessary regulation.) There's a vibrant market for Internet service, and not just in urban areas (there are 10 facilities-based providers in my small town of 28,000 people). Customers would instantly flee any provider that tried to do such a thing.

Again, no US ISP has ever blocked content. The one instance in which it has ever happened occurred in Canada when a company blocked illegal death threats targeted at its employees. (The threats were made by striking union members, who were threatening the lives of workers who crossed picket lines. Lobbyists who are pushing for regulation of the Internet generally don't tell the whole story when they describe this incident, and for good reason; any sensible person would agree that the blocking was justified.)

Secondly, the Comcast customers whose illegal file uploading was restrained were indeed violating their contracts with Comcast. Comcast's terms of service, to which every customer agrees, prohibit the operation of servers on residential connections. An ISP is absolutely entitled to enforce the terms of its contract with a customer, especially when that customer is abusing the network and jeopardizing the quality of service that other users receive.

Finally, the posters above obviously have no idea what it's like to actually run an ISP. The employees of my small, local ISP work 24x7, for far too little money, to provide the best possible service to our community. We're not in this to make big bucks (in fact, we lose money for several months each year). We're doing it because it's our mission and because we want to serve our community. The fact that people are sniping at us and attacking us in this forum suggests that they are either seriously misguided or working for the same DC lobbyists who are seeking to impose onerous, anti-consumer, innovation-crippling regulation upon the Internet.

--Brett Glass, LARIAT.NET

Posted by: squirma | September 30, 2009 11:14 AM

Brett
No one is trying to save that you don't run a good business, but you do appear to be out of touch with the reality of getting service as a consumer.
In Washington DC I have a choice of either Comcast cable, Verizon DSL, or maybe some other dsl provider riding over Verizon lines. Thats it. Basically 2 choices. Yes, the ISP can enforce the terms of the contract, but that contract must allow them to use the contracted for service as they want. If the ISP says the consumer can download 100 gig a day, he can. Don't decide that the speed needs to be throttled at night when usage is high. If your network can't support it, don't sell it.

Posted by: mdembski1 | September 30, 2009 3:44 PM

I really don't see the need for a ban on blocking malicious web sites. There are a host of sites that have nasty Java code embedded in them that exist for no purpose other than to infect your computer with code that makes it part of a botnet. Google's Stop Badware campaign flags them with warnings, but we don't always go to them from search.

Similarly, web sites like Pirate Bay exist for the sole purpose of promoting piracy, so there's no sensible reason not to block them, and some countries demand blocking them.

The illusion that the Internet is a level playing field full of nothing but good guys is so silly I can't see why anybody takes these net neutrality claims seriously.

Posted by: richard23 | September 30, 2009 3:48 PM

Brett, please look up the facts.

The majority of people in this country live in areas where there are only one or two broadband Internet providers. That is not a vibrant market - it's a monopoly or duopoly.

Second, yes, ISPs have indeed blocked content.

Comcast blocked Vuze and the World of Warcraft game when they blocked BitTorrent. Just to point out - Vuze is in fact in competition with Comcast. Vuze was one of the groups that complained to the FCC.

Vuze is legal. So is World of Warcraft.

Madison River blocked Vonage in 2005 - another application that the ISP was in competition with. Vonage is legal.

The Canadian site contained threats in blog comments. No one I've seen, other than you, claims they were death threats - not even Telus's press release on the subject, which I tend to doubt would leave out such a justification. Further, they did not block "a site" with issues - they blocked only one site - of the union they were wrangling with, that the union was using to discuss strategy during a strike. Odd that their concern extended only to themselves.

AT&T, acting as a content provider, deleted words from a webcast of Pearl Jam in 2007 (comments about Bush.)

Verizon Wireless refused to allow a political group to send text messages on a sensitive subject on its wireless mobile network.

The Comcast blocking was not for "illegal file uploading." What brought it to the attention of customers was it was blocking the completely legal sharing of public domain barbetshop quartet videos and the perfectly legal Vuze video sharing application. While I think barbershop quartets are hokey, they are not illegal.

Comcast's terms of service DO NOT PROBHIBIT PEER TO PEER SHARING, despite your claims. They did not prohibit them at the time of the blockage, either. Go read them on Comcast's web site. I just did.

Comcast does not consider P2P to be operating a server on their network, again per Comcast. Go and read their web site.

Finally, you do not appear to know what an ad hominem attack is. An ad hominem attack is not when someone criticizes your industry, or when they point out how abuses might occur if certain things were permitted by law.

An ad hominem attack is when you paint someone as a bad actor, and by extension indicate that for that reason their position MUST be bad, rather than discussing the logic of your argument and how it might apply.

Ironically, your frequent dissertations on the evil of Google and how we should distrust net neutrality because Google is for it would be an ad hominem attack, if Google was a person.

Note re sources - the source of the ISP blockage incidents is the Feb 09 issue of the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, in Barbara van Schewick's commentaries on net neutrality.

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | September 30, 2009 8:00 PM

mdembski1 writes:

"In Washington DC I have a choice of either Comcast cable, Verizon DSL, or maybe some other dsl provider riding over Verizon lines. Thats it."

Not so at all. Have you ever heard of DC Access? (They don't just provide wireless Internet access to most of DC; they also provide the free Wi-Fi on the steps of the US Supreme Court.) Rapid DSL and Wireless? The other Washington WISPs listed at http://www.wispdirectory.com? What about the six cellular broadband providers that serve your area? You have quite a lot of competitive options.

Posted by: squirma | September 30, 2009 8:42 PM

Net neutrality is necessary if services are to expand. ISP's throttling people for watching streaming movies will kill those services before they mature.

And "speeds" are a joke. This is news to the bumbling FCC? They are just about as clueless as the FAA. That's why I refuse to pay for the "premium" level of service. Without any guarantee that it will be faster than my medium level, and have a guaranteed minimum speed, I won't pay the extra $$$. My ISP is Bellsouth (AT&T), and I rarely see my "up to" speed at all. More like HALF of that is normal.

Posted by: moonwatcher2001 | October 1, 2009 9:07 AM

You have to be joking me. No internet provider has blocked content. Public institutions, community colleges for example, that provide internet access are currently viewed as ISP's. They most certainly do BLOCK content.

I hope this net neutrality idea will free the community college from the liability that can occur because of this bone headed idea that they are considered ISP's.

Posted by: harveyg | October 1, 2009 10:30 AM

When it comes to connection speeds we are being taken for a ride but no one seems to want to bring a class action suite against AT&T for example. Which does not provide even close the advertised speed. I have not yet determined if they are throttling back hulu.com or if it is everything. I am working on it though.

It is amazing that I can suffer through commercials on this link but when it comes to the movies the speed really drops. In fact I used to be able to watch it at full screen but now that is not possible. I have a 3mg throughput deal that if I am lucky gives me 1mb. I have watched this in realtime. So I am paying for a transportation pipe that is running 30% of contract.

Posted by: harveyg | October 1, 2009 10:36 AM

One of your statements seems to have misinterpreted the FCC findings! These are two different things:

"-Actual broadband speeds lag advertised speeds by as much as 50% to 80%."

and your take on that:

"So more than half the time, and sometimes as much as eight out of ten times, consumers are paying for slower Internet access speed than they signed up for."

The first statement says that the speeds are typically slower by 50-80%, not that 50-80% of the time they are slower!

They could, in fact, be slower 100% of the time-- and be slower by 50%-80% of the advertised speeds!

Can you supply the correct info and interpretation in a follow-up? Thanks!

Perhaps the study has information on both...

Posted by: Astrogal | October 1, 2009 11:10 AM

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