FCC Planning To Monitor Wireless Broadband Speeds, Performance
The US Federal Communications Commission announced on Thursday that it has expanded its wired broadband monitoring program to include wireless broadband internet service. The program relies on service performance monitoring via data collected from internet monitoring volunteers.
FCC officials have proposed a September 21 meeting at FCC headquarters where they will discuss the program that will ultimately ”develop information on mobile broadband service performance in the United States utilizing the collaborative model underlying the success of its fixed broadband program.”
To collect data the current wired program relies on home and business high-speed internet users. Those volunteers agree to have a second broadband source installed in their home or office. The secondary source has its own dedicated router and a computer that continuously collects data about the quality of service offered.
Testers do not pay for the program to be installed, however they are also not allowed to use the additional connection for any reason.
The FCC periodically publishes negative reports as company’s fail to meet broadband speeds and performance levels.
The monitoring program for wired internet has already been a success, in 2011 Cablevision was cited for low speeds and performance. After being cited by the FCC Cablevision quickly changed its throttling policies.
The FCC issued a report in August 2011 that found 82 percent of advertised downstream speeds to be met during heavy use periods. The report found that cable providers peaked out at 93 percent and fiber networks offered an impressive 113 percent of their promised download speeds.
Several major wireless carriers have already offered to voluntarily join the FCC wireless broadband monitoring program.