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Oct 10 -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) invites comments by December 11, 2023 regarding the proposed extension of FCC Consumer Broadband Services Testing & Measurement.

This study's collection of information on actual speeds and performance of fixed and mobile broadband connections delivered to consumers by ISPs has been reported to be of great value to academic researchers, manufacturers and technology providers, broadband providers, public interest groups and other diverse stakeholders.  

Validation of fixed broadband subscribed speeds as opposed to actual speeds by participating ISPs remains unique to this program and provides a context for measured speeds. Mobile broadband performance information is measured using the FCC Speed Test app for Android and iOS devices to test the upload and download speeds, latency and packet loss, as well as the wireless performance characteristics of the broadband connection and the kind of handsets and versions of operating systems tested. Information the FCC Speed Test App (“Application”) collects is limited to information used to measure volunteers' mobile broadband service and no personally identifiable information, such as subscribers' name, phone number or unique identifiers associated with a device is collected.

Software-based tools and online tools exist that can test consumer's broadband connections, including a set of consumer tools launched by the FCC in conjunction with the National Broadband Plan. However, these tools track speeds experienced by consumers, rather than speeds delivered directly to a consumer by an ISP. The distinction is important for supporting Agency broadband policy analysis, as ISPs advertise speeds and performance delivered rather than speeds experienced, which suffers from degradation outside of an ISP's control. No other dedicated panel of direct fixed and mobile broadband performance measurement using publicly documented methodologies using free and add-free technologies exists today in the country.

The program will continue to support existing software-based tools and online tools but the focus of the program will remain the direct measurement of broadband performance delivered to the consumer. The collection effort also has specific elements focused on further network performance statistics, time of day parameters, and other elements affecting consumers' broadband experience that are not tracked elsewhere. The information to be confirmed by ISP Partners about their subscribers or technical and market data regarding the broadband services they provide is unavailable from other sources.
Number of Respondents and Responses: 501,020 respondents and 501,020 responses [same as currently approved]

Measuring Broadband America: https://www.fcc.gov/general/measuring-broadband-america
Currently approved ICR: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202011-3060-003
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-22425

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