FCC: 80 Pct of Americans Don’t Know their Broadband Speed

fcc 80 pct of americans dont know their broadband speed test my isp

A new survey conducted by the Federal Communications Commission‘s Consumer Task Force has found that, overall, 80 percent of Americans don’t know the speed of their broadband Internet connections (PDF)—but most respondents are satisfied with the speed their getting…whatever it is. The survey is part of a broader initiative at the FCC to measure the actual broadband speeds consumers receive from ISPs and compare them to the speeds that broadband providers advertise.

“Speed matters,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in a statement. “The more broadband d what speeds they get, the more they can make the market work and push faster speeds over broadband networks.”

The FCC’s focus on the actual bandwidth being delivered to consumers comes as the agency is putting forward its National Broadband Plan, which seeks (in part) to reclassify broadband Internet service more like telephone service to preserve things like consumers’ ability to access any lawful application or service, but not requiring providers accede to rate regulations and facilities-sharing requirements. But the timing of the Consumers Task Force’s study only highlights the elephant in the room: neither the FCC nor anybody else really has much idea what broadband is available to consumers, and whether consumers get anything remotely akin to the services being advertised. If the results of the survey are any indicators, consumers don’t really seem to care…although the survey noted some variations, with women and respondents age 65 or older less likely to know the speed of their broadband connection.

In an effort to map out existing broadband access to U.S. homes, the FCC is looking for 10,000 volunteers to participate in a study (conducted by SamKnows) measuring home broadband speeds: participants would have specialized hardware installed in their home that would measure the performance of their broadband connection and report the results back to the FCC; participants will also be able to see the performance of their own broadband service. Interested consumers can register for the test at www.TestMyISP.com.

Emerging Tech

A Japanese spacecraft just landed two rovers on an asteroid

Japan's space agency has succeeded in landing two rovers on the surface of an asteroid around 200 million miles from Earth. The deployment is part of a bold mission aimed at unlocking some of the mysteries of our solar system.

How T-Mobile plans to use 5G to challenge traditional ISPs

In a recent FCC statement, T-Mobile COO Michael Sievert outlined the company's plans to use 5G to challenge traditional ISPs such as Comcast and Charter. The company says it would offer lower rates and higher speeds.
Smart Home

A study says kids and security spur people’s smart home purchases

Why are more people inviting internet-connected smart home devices into their households? According to a survey sponsored by Home Depot, the growth is primarily being driven by children and security.

AT&T’s new 5G network could adopt tiered billing, including a gaming plan

AT&T may be leveraging its 5G's fast speeds and low latency in order to create a special plan for gamers. AT&T didn't disclose what the 5G gaming plan will cost, but gamers could be free from Wi-Fi in the future.

Ripple cryptocurrency jumps 70 percent in 24 hours after news of bank deal

The Ripple cryptocurrency has seen its value reach the highest point since late 2017 after a tease from a Ripple Labs regulator suggested it could soon be adopted by banks for international money transfers.

Google tells lawmakers it allows other apps access to your Gmail

Google admitted to lawmakers in a letter that its privacy policy allows third-party apps access to the email messages of its 1.4 billion Gmail users. Google says the apps need the consent of users before access is granted.
Product Review

It's the thinnest touchscreen laptop, but HP's Spectre doesn't sacrifice speed

Our HP Spectre 13 review evaluates the “world’s thinnest touchscreen notebook” to see if it’s possible to make something smaller while increasing its speed and longevity. Spoiler alert -- it is. But does that make it a laptop you…

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Tired of paying for shipping? Here's how to set up an Amazon Prime account

Want to know how to sign up for Amazon Prime? It's easier than you might think and even comes with a free trial so that you can enjoy all of its benefits for 30 days risk-free. Just follow these steps.
Social Media

Twitter squashes security bug leaking direct messages since 2017

The team at Twitter has discovered and corrected a security bug within one of their developer APIs that has been leaking sensitive information sent via direct messages to business accounts.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?

What's the best laptop? We've reviewed a lot of them, and this is our answer

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…