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Thread: FCC Tells the Wireless Carriers to Be Prepared; Soon will Test Data Speed Claims

  1. Editor in Chief
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    #1

    FCC Tells the Wireless Carriers to Be Prepared; Soon will Test Data Speed Claims


    Here is some welcome news. Have you ever wondered why your wireless data speeds don't ever seem to come close to the maximum, or sometimes even the median, that the manufacturer advertises? Most of the time it' simply network saturation, but sometimes it's still debatable as to whether our service is what our carriers claim. Apparently, the FCC wants to find out the reality of this for consumers. They plan to have the public help them do performance testing on wireless carrier networks to see if everything measures up to the marketing claims. Here's the full press release,

    FCC TO LAUNCH MOBILE BROADBAND SERVICES TESTING AND MEASURMENT PROGRAM

    On September 21, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission will hold an open meeting to discuss a new program to measure mobile broadband service performance in the United States.

    The National Broadband Plan (NBP), developed by the FCC, made recommendations to improve the availability of information for consumers about their broadband service. The FCC has undertaken a series of projects as part of its Consumer Empowerment Agenda to realize this charge, including launching a broadband speed test app and, most significantly, undertaking a comprehensive effort-in partnership with industry, the public research community, and other stakeholders-to provide the first detailed and accurate measurements of fixed broadband service performance in the United States. This past July, the FCC released its second Measuring Broadband America report, showing significant improvements in broadband performance and service offerings as compared to the first report roughly one year earlier.

    The FCC now proposes a program to develop information on mobile broadband service performance in the United States utilizing the collaborative model underlying the success of its fixed broadband program. As the Measuring Broadband America program has proven, the broadband performance data produced by the statistically sound methodology of the program allows comparisons and analyses that are valuable to consumers and spur competition among service providers.

    In addition, the experience gained within the Measuring Broadband America program has proven the value of working with a broad range of participants including industry and the public research community on the complex technical challenges related to broadband performance measurement and study. The FCC notes that in launching this effort we have already received commitments to cooperate by major wireless carriers and CTIA-The Wireless Association®. With the launch of this open meeting, the FCC looks forward to the participation of other critical stakeholders, including the public research community.

    At the open meeting, Commission staff from the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau will discuss with interested parties the technical methods for performance testing of mobile broadband Internet service, methodological approaches to remotely acquiring and analyzing such data, and other methodological considerations for the testing of mobile broadband performance.
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  3. Master Droid
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    Excellent! I'd love to see something like this happen with home internet also. My FiOs is never even close to what they claim I should be getting. I'm lucky to get half the bandwidth for which I'm paying.
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    I hope this means an app we can download on our phone to help with this test. No better way to test the network's performance than at end-user level I figure.
  5. Droid Ninja
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    Yeah. LTE has never been too bad for me (Baltimore is much slower than blacksburg though :/ ), but land lines are robbing us!!! I average like 2Mbps down on my "20Mbps" Comcast cable internet! And every time I call and complain, BOOM it goes up to like 15-18Mbps...for a day. And they claim they don't throttle... BS!!!

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  6. Droid Ninja
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    If the FCC institutes guidelines as to what constitutes 4g speed, AT&T might have some explaining to do to their customers. Like why have they been lied to all this time?

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  7. Droid Ninja
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by LoudRam View Post
    If the FCC institutes guidelines as to what constitutes 4g speed, AT&T might have some explaining to do to their customers. Like why have they been lied to all this time?

    Sent from my HTC Rezound using Droid Forums
    I thought the ITC did that? And it was kind of a gray area, hence AT&T's ability to blatantly lie and rebrand their 3G network as "4G".

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  8. Droid Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ry
    Yeah. LTE has never been too bad for me (Baltimore is much slower than blacksburg though :/ ), but land lines are robbing us!!! I average like 2Mbps down on my "20Mbps" Comcast cable internet! And every time I call and complain, BOOM it goes up to like 15-18Mbps...for a day. And they claim they don't throttle... BS!!!

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    We have Comcast and we are on one of the tiers that they just doubled and our speed did double. On my desktop and laptop (wired not wifi) I'm getting 50 Mbps down. My wifi seems to be limited to no more than 20 Mbps on both my laptop and my phone. I used Speedtest for all tests.

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  9. Droid Ninja
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ry

    I thought the ITC did that? And it was kind of a gray area, hence AT&T's ability to blatantly lie and rebrand their 3G network as "4G".

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    I thought the FCC didn't have a standard yet. I'll look it up when I get a chance because I'm not 100% sure.

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  10. Droid Ninja
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    #9
    I found this so far.

    Consumer Watchdog Says FCC Plan To Measure Mobile Data Speeds Falls Short; Group Stresses Need For Full Disclosure Requirements For Carriers' Advertising - Yahoo! News

    Just some small parts...

    Citing deceptive and confusing advertising by mobile phone companies concerning data speeds,
    Consumer Watchdog last month petitioned the FCC to require wireless carriers to disclose actual
    network data speeds in advertisements and at the point of sale.
    The nonprofit, nonpartisan group told the FCC that technical speed standards for "4G" mobile
    technology are universally ignored by U.S. cell phone companies, which now promise "faster, 4G"
    speeds in virtually every advertisement, "either without actually making improvements to existing
    products and services or without disclosing the meaning of 'faster.'

    and...


    Consumer Watchdog's petition pointed to AT&T's advertising of the iPhone 4S as an example of
    4G/data speed marketplace abuse. The petition said:

    "In January 2012, AT&T began marketing the iPhone 4S as being a 4G phone, even though Apple
    represents it as 3G -- a fact that was reflected on the phone itself: when connected to the AT&T
    network, a '3G' icon appeared on the screen. Then, in March 2012, the iPhone's software was
    suddenly updated so the screen displayed a '4G' icon. Nothing else about the phone or AT&T's
    network had changed, yet AT&T immediately began an advertising campaign flaunting the phone's
    improved, faster 4G speeds."
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  11. Droid Ninja
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ry View Post
    Yeah. LTE has never been too bad for me (Baltimore is much slower than blacksburg though :/ ), but land lines are robbing us!!! I average like 2Mbps down on my "20Mbps" Comcast cable internet! And every time I call and complain, BOOM it goes up to like 15-18Mbps...for a day. And they claim they don't throttle... BS!!!

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    comcast does the opposite for us, they sell us 30mbps internet but the actual speed is constantly at 36mbps.
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