More Lawmakers Saying The FCC Should Stop Using Bogus Methods To Track Broadband Penetration

from the accuracy-is-important dept

Every time people point out how woefully behind the US is in both broadband penetration and competition, people would point to FCC data suggesting that there’s plenty of competition and penetration in broadband. There was just one minor problem. The FCC’s numbers were not accurate. That’s because the methodology used by the FCC was to simply look at an entire zip code, and if a single house in that zip code was offered broadband access by a company, that entire zip code was judged to have broadband access from that company. In some areas this might be pretty accurate — but in many others it wasn’t accurate at all. For example, where I used to live, in the heart of Silicon Valley, AT&T told me that I was too far from the CO to get DSL access. Yet, according to the FCC, I had plenty of competition for broadband because DSL was available to me. Last year, the GAO explained all this, but the FCC hasn’t changed its methodology, despite the GAO slamming it a second time for the inaccurate numbers. Back in May a Senator proposed that the FCC be required to accurately count broadband numbers, and now a House subcommittee has approved a similar plan. That’s all good, but at what point does someone point out how ridiculous it is that our lawmakers need to spend their time passing laws to tell the FCC to actually count broadband numbers rather than using clearly misleading and inaccurate data? Shouldn’t the FCC want to do that on its own? As for the FCC, perhaps instead of writing editorials for the Wall Street Journal about how competitive US broadband is, maybe they should actually be working on figuring out of that’s true.

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Comments on “More Lawmakers Saying The FCC Should Stop Using Bogus Methods To Track Broadband Penetration”

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Call me a cynic says:

Call me a cynic but I think the FCC is the equivalent of those citizens who are supposed to get together once in a while and weigh U.S. coins to make sure the mint isn’t shaving copper or silver…in other words, a quaint throw back to a simpler time…I can’t think of anything they do currently to justify their existence.

InkChemist says:

Re: Re:

copper? silver? US coins haven’t used much of either for a very long time. The price of fine metals like silver and gold are so volatile that base metals are now used and the value of the coin is based only on our trust, just like the paper money. By the way, don’t even think about asking the government to exchange your $20 bill for the appropriate weight in silver or gold; that economic model is long gone.

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