As part of its effort to measure gains in access to high speed broadband services by U.S. consumers, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its fifth annual report on nationwide broadband access.
The Commission’s 2015 “Measuring Broadband America” report covers data collected in September 2014. The report is intended to provide greater transparency regarding broadband network performance, and assist consumers in making more informed choices about broadband services.
Some of the key findings highlighted in the 2015 report include:
- Significant growth in advertised broadband speeds available to consumers—Average maximum advertised broadband speeds reached 72 Mbps in September 2014, nearly double the average advertised speed in September 2013. Cable system subscribers saw the biggest increases in maximum advertised speeds, while maximum speeds for DSL subscribers lagged.
- Actual speeds experienced by most broadband subscribers equal or exceed advertised speeds—With the exception of DSL providers, all broadband service providers are delivering broadband service at speeds that are equal to or exceed advertised speeds.
- Consumers with access to faster services continue to migrate to higher service tiers—Users who subscribed to service tiers with advertised speeds between 15 and 30 Mpbs migrated at higher rates with the following year to a service tier with a higher advertised speed. The exception to this trend was, once again, DSL users.
- Latency and packet loss vary depending on the technology—Consumers generally experience low latency on DSL, cable and fiber broadband systems, and low packet loss on cable, fiber and satellite broadband systems.