Wednesday, March 19, 2008

FCC finally abandons useless 1996 broadband measurement standard, will require more detailed reports by providers

The Federal Communications Commission, which for years has been the target of justified criticism for failing to update how it measures broadband adoption as required by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is finally getting up to speed with more than a decade of changing technology.

Instead of the much derided standard of measuring by ZIP Code and deeming the entire ZIP Code as having broadband service if it has just one subscriber with a data connection of 200kbs in just one direction, the FCC announced today it adopted an order expanding the number of broadband reporting speed tiers to capture more precise information about upload and download broadband speeds.

The next semi-annual report on broadband deploying covering the second half of 2007 and subsequent reports will also require broadband providers to report the number of broadband subscribers by census tract, broken down by speed tier and technology type, the FCC announced.

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