National Broadband Speeds Closing Gap Between Promise, Reality, FCC Report Says

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The nation’s broadband service providers are closing the gap between the promise and reality of speeds provided, the Federal Communications Commission said Aug. 2.

According to “Measuring Broadband America,” a report unveiled by the FCC at a news conference, most major broadband providers now deliver internet service at speeds that are 80 to 90 percent of advertised speeds. The findings mark what FCC officials label a significant improvement from a 2009 study that found actual speeds 50 percent of advertised.

“During the FCC's development of the National Broadband Plan, we reported evidence from 2009 that actual broadband speeds significantly lagged advertised speeds. That's why, as part of the FCC's Consumer Empowerment Agenda, we've been working to arm consumers with information to help them make smart choices about the broadband service that's right for them,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

In conjunction with the report Genachowski unveiled a new assistance program to address consumer confusion and help would-be internet users cut through the growth of choices.

“To help empower consumers and ensure a healthy broadband market, in addition to this report, the FCC is today releasing a step-by-step online guide to choosing home broadband service,” Genachowski said.

“The guide walks consumers through the steps they should take when choosing the service that's best for them. We also encourage current subscribers to check their bills and ask their providers what service they have, and make sure it matches with what they need,” Genachowski said.

The release of the step-by-step guide comes on the heels of a recent FCC survey which found that 80 percent of consumers did not know the speed of the service they purchased from their internet service provider.

Research for the report was conducted through a collaboration between the FCC and 13 internet service providers as well academic researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The full text of the report can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america#read.