FCC Says 4 Out of 5 U.S. Users Don't Know How Fast Their Broadband Is
The Federal Communications Commission said June 1 80 percent of 3,005 broadband users surveyed in the United States do not know how fast their broadband connection is. The survey is geared to help fulfill a goal of the National Broadband Plan to gauge the Internet speeds users are getting in their homes and mobile devices. The idea is to ensure broadband providers such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T continue to provide high levels of broadband service for unsuspecting users who may not know how to gauge what their provider promises.The Federal Communications Commission said June 1 the four out of five broadband users in the United States do not know how fast their broadband connection is, a sign of how little Internet users know about the rate at which data is transmitted to their computers. On behalf of the FCC's Consumer Task Force, Abt/SRBI and Princeton Survey Research Associates International surveyed 3,005 American adults from April 19 to May 2, 2010 and found that 80 percent of broadband users in the U.S. do not know the speed of their broadband connection.
No demographic group had good awareness of their home broadband speed, though the data indicated there were some differences among the demographics. The FCC said some 71 percent of men do not know what speed they're getting, while the figure is 90 percent for women.
The FCC is trying to be proactive as it seeks to curtail the impingement of network traffic from providers after a court said the FCC could not dictate how providers manage Web traffic on their networks. The FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is also mulling how to measure mobile broadband speed at a time when more consumers are using smartphones, laptops, netbooks and tablet PCs such as Apple's iPad to surf the Web. Some 71 percent of mobile broadband users said they were satisfied with their speeds. Over time, the FCC aims to fashion tests that consumers may use to track their own broadband speed for home and mobile devices.