FCC to begin testing and reporting mobile broadband performance

Zachary Lutz
Z. Lutz|09.05.12

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FCC to begin testing and reporting mobile broadband performance

Just like the FCC is looking to the public to help define modern broadband, it's similarly planning to arm citizens with more accurate information of mobile broadband speeds. The initiative is promoted as a natural extension of the Measuring Broadband America report, an annual publication of the FCC that currently only applies to wireline services. While still in the planning stages, the agency has already secured cooperation from CTIA and the major carriers. Come September 21st, the FCC will hold an open meeting to discuss the most appropriate methods for gathering and analyzing the data. It'll likely be a rather dry affair, but if you're really keen on attending, you'll find the complete details after the break.

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CG Docket No. 09-158

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.

The meeting will take place on Friday, September 21, 2012, from 1:30PM-3:30PM Eastern, in the 6th Floor South Conference Room (6-B516) at 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. Parties interested in attending or who would like further information may call James Miller at 202-418-7351 or Walter Johnston at 202-418-0807 or via email at James.Miller@fcc.gov or Walter.Johnston@fcc.gov. Seating is limited.

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