Why Does The CDC Have Better Data On Mobile Penetration Than The FCC?

from the that's-what-we-call-regulatory-capture dept

It’s well known that the FCC has long had incredibly bogus data when it comes to broadband and mobile penetration in the US. In many cases, this is due to efforts from legacy providers who don’t want accurate penetration info to get out there, because that might lead the government to realize how little actual competition there is in the market. Kevin Werbach points us to the fact that it appears that when people are interested in mobile phone penetration in the US, it’s not the FCC who has the data, but the Center for Disease Control (CDC), who went out and collected their own damn data because it needed to know that data to make sure its phone surveys remained accurate. It’s quite telling of the state of the FCC when it’s the CDC that has better data about the industry the FCC regulates.

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Comments on “Why Does The CDC Have Better Data On Mobile Penetration Than The FCC?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It seems like this whole overlapping roles issue really started getting worse after 9/11. Different governmental agencies pointed fingers at each other saying, “no, that’s the CIA’s job, No it’s the FBI’s job, etc..” and they all complained that there was a lack of communication and overlap. So they went about trying to “fix” it. At this rate it won’t be long before you have NASA regulating food and drugs and the FDA regulating banks.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

By actual bandwidth I mean the actually used bandwidth. So, in the above inquiries, if I have a 1.5 Mb per second connection and I’m downloading a file (due to a slow server or whatever) only at 1 Mb / sec my potential bandwidth is 1.5 Mb/sec but my actual bandwidth is 1 Mb/sec. Just to clarify terminology here. Potential = maximum possible bandwidth. Actual = what’s actually being used.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

I’m just trying to understand what his point is. The FCC seems to be saying that a lack of competition is not a limiting factor to actual bandwidth (but that there are other limiting factors and more competition would not equal more bandwidth). While this maybe untrue I don’t see how these specific CDC reports contradict the FCC’s claims.

:Lobo Santo says:

Re: Re:

The point is accuracy.
The FCC – whose mandate is to track this stuff, is obviously doing a poor job of it. This is not news…
The CDC – in no way in overlapping fields with the FCC needed CORRECT statistical data concerning mobile phone/mobile broadband services (in relation to a variety of health concerns). As the FCC data was spurious/irrelevant/incomplete; they just went out and got their own.

I envy you–I’ve never had to overcome such incredible reading comprehension problems like those you seem to possess. Very brave, keep it up! Someday, it’ll be easier.

Tgeigs says:

The point

I think maybe the point is simply this:

1. The CDC needs statistical data to make sure they’re surveys are being accurately utilized
2. The FCC is responsible for gathering this data, and I assume would make it available to the CDC
3. The CDC wrinkled its nose and said, “Yeah…no thanks”, then proceeded to get the data themselves

How damning is it of a government affiliated regulating commission that another govt. group don’t recognize their data as being accurate or worth anything? And more importantly, if the govt. doesn’t trust their own data, why should we?

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“and now I’m “Bettawrekonize” contradicting myself, too.
It’s that easy.”

In reading your contradictions I was aware of the possibility that someone could impersonate you. And no, it’s NOT that easy. There is such a thing as a hostmask that does identify you, Mike has access to it and he can tell. If you know about the internet you’ll know that.

DJ (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Just FYI that was me.
AND I don’t contradict myself
AND you’re calling out Anonymous Coward for something that :Lobo Santo said.
AND yes, Mike can tell, but it’s not displayed on the general thread, so YOU can’t. My point is that the contradictions are typically done by trollers.
AND nobody likes it when people get upset when they’re called on they’re own shortcomings; CTFU

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

In other words, I calculated that it wasn’t someone impersonating you (being aware of that possibility) but you yourself. Mostly because you didn’t, in future conversations, deny your previous posts, but even if you did Mike could still identify the truth since he probably has access to everyone’s hostmasks. So faking others probably won’t last long.

Derek Kerton says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Ok, If I click that and the box shows up, how do I link it back to what it’s replying to? Is there a good way to see who a post is replying to? All it says is RE: often times, doesn’t specify exactly what post.”

See “Your Preferences” at the top right of this page. Select Threaded View.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“AND nobody likes it when people get upset when they’re called on they’re own shortcomings”

I simply pointed out that there was no reason to resort to personal attacks for making a mistake. After all, it’s clearly not like you’ve never contradicted yourself or made obvious fallacies. Correcting someone and resorting to personal attacks are not the same thing.

DJ (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Bettawrekonize, also please take a moment to


In this thread alone there have been DJ(myself), Anonymous Coward, :Lobo Santo, Travis, kirillian, Chrono S. Trigger, Tgeigs and yourself. We are NOT all the same person. If you don’t like what someone says, please respond to THAT person, and do not attribute to him/her what someone ELSE has said.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“AND you’re calling out Anonymous Coward for something that :Lobo Santo said.”

If it’s not anonymous coward then I apologize to him. Lobno Santo shouldn’t impersonate you here


“AND yes, Mike can tell, but it’s not displayed on the general thread, so YOU can’t. My point is that the contradictions are typically done by trollers.”

Well, either you’re the same person or you’re impersonating him. Either way you’re the troll impersonating others.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“Bettawrekonize…please take a deep breath and just think about what you want to say for about 30 seconds. Once the thoughts stop you can put together a single post instead of 9 or 10 in a row. It’s really not that challenging.”

I’m not used to this structure, still need more getting used to. I’m used to being able to edit my posts for mistakes later on. Thanks for the advice though.

Korrosive says:

Re: Advice For All Commenters

Since this post is already derailed, I’ll just continue adding fuel to the ire 🙂

The only ill side effect I see with threaded view is in order to find the latest comments, one has to scroll up and down checking each thread. With flattened view I simply skip to the bottom to see the latest posted comments.

Any insight??

Derrick Hinkle (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Advice For All Commenters

Bettawrekonize, seriously, this isn’t twitter. Make your freaking point and stfu and gtfo my Internets. Techdirt is a great website, but you don’t need to post 30 times in a single story either. Every post you’ve made is totally irrelevant to the story so far.

As to the story, that’s hilarious. Did the CDC contract out the work though? Also, isn’t there some sort of accountability on the FCC to have accurate data?

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