Tag Archives: FCC

Which ISPs Are Providing The Speeds They Advertise?

Once again, the FCC has put a wide range of Internet service providers to the test to see whether or not they are delivering on the speeds they advertise to customers. And while it the majority of ISPs are not far off, with a few actually over-delivering, some still have a way to go.

The above chart doesn’t indicate which of the ISPs was fastest or slowest, merely how each ISP fared in delivering the speeds promised in its advertising to consumers. So while you can’t look at it and say that Cablevision provides a faster service than AT&T, you can use this info to decide how willing you are to accept a company’s advertising claims.

The chart at the bottom of this post shows in greater detail the actual sustained download speeds per tier per provider.

This is the first time that the FCC has included a satellite broadband provider in its Measuring Broadband report, and ViaSat, which we told you about when we got a hands-on demo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, made a pretty good rookie showing. Not only did it deliver speeds faster than the advertised 12 mbps downstream that ViaSat advertises, it had the highest actual/advertised ratio of all the ISPs in the study.

“While latency for satellites necessarily remains much higher than for terrestrial services,” writes the FCC, “with the improvements afforded by the new technology we find that it will support many types of popular broadband services and applications.”

Here is the per-provider, per-tier breakdown of actual sustained download speeds:

You can check out the full test results and report Here.

Source: The Consumerist

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Car-to-Car Communication Put At Risk By FCC Wi-Fi Proposal

Technologies being developed to aid in communications between cars may be affected by the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to increase Wi-Fi spectrum.

Bands reserved since 1999 for car-to-car communication may become collateral damage in the FCC’s search for more wireless spectrum, and potentially puts the future of self-driving vehicles at risk.

A letter from automotive trade associations has been sent to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in protest of the plans, reports Bloomberg. Parallels were drawn with the LightSquared wireless broadband network proposal, which was at first approved by the FCC, before it was discovered that the signals affected GPS equipment. By opening nearby spectrum to other devices, the possibility of crosstalk or interference with the allocated-to-automotive bands could effectively cause an accident to occur.

The systems currently being developed allows cars at short range to communicate automatically, with data such as speeds, changes in direction, and other important details being transferred between the cars, with the ultimate goal of reducing collisions and vehicular accidents. Currently undergoing testing in Ann Arbor Michigan inside 3,000 vehicles, the technology is said by automakers to cost as little as $100 per vehicle to install, both from new and as an after-market option.

The FCC will be voting on the Wi-Fi proposal on February 20th.

Source: Electronista

FCC Plans to Free Up More Spectrum in Effort to Relieve Congested Wi-Fi Networks

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a plan to free up more spectrum in the 5GHz range for Wi-Fi purposes. Speaking at an event in Las Vegas today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the freed spectrum will relieve the congestion and “traffic jam” that currently constricts Wi-Fi networks today. The extra spectrum is currently used by the Department of Defense, and will be shared with government purposes should the proposal be approved. Genachowski did not say how much spectrum the proposal would allocate for Wi-Fi networks, but he did note that it would be a substantial amount. The FCC is due to review the proposal next month.

Source: The Verge

FCC IT Healthcare Fund to Boost Broadband Connections

The Healthcare Connect Fund advances the FCC’s pilot work on broadband and health services with a particular focus on leveraging high-speed connectivity to widen telemedicine networks and boost access to specialists for patients who don’t live near major hospital centers.

The FCC promises that the new fund “will allow thousands of new providers across the country to share in the benefits of connectivity and dramatically cut costs for both hospitals and the Universal Service Fund,” the agency’s omnibus telecom subsidy program.

The agency will begin accepting applications for the fund in late summer.

The Healthcare Connect Fund comes as the latest step in the FCC’s ongoing work in the area of healthcare technology. Just last month, around the same time that it approved the order authorizing the new fund, the FCC began the hiring search for the new position of director of healthcare initiatives.

The FCC says that the new healthcare director will coordinate the FCC’s varied efforts to harness technology to improve care and drive down costs, overseeing the availability of wireless medical devices and working with hospitals and other medical facilities to ensure that they have sufficient broadband connectivity.

The director will also spearhead the FCC’s outreach on healthcare issues with members of the medical and telecommunication industries, as well as the relevant government agencies involved with healthcare technology. Additionally, the individual will work with in-house FCC experts to address a host of technical issues like harnessing spectrum to enable remote testing through the use of wireless devices, and oversee the development of the new Healthcare Connect Fund.

An outgrowth of the FCC’s Rural Healthcare pilot program launched in 2006, the Healthcare Connect Fund aims to simplify the eligibility requirements to ensure that hospitals serving patients in rural areas can secure funding to upgrade their bandwidth to support modern telemedicine applications.

Additionally, by restructuring the terms of the program for healthcare consortia, the FCC projects that the new fund could lower the cost of robust broadband healthcare networks by as much as half. The fund will also channel as much as $50 million over a three-year period to support high-speed broadband service at skilled nursing facilities.

The FCC cites Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., as an example of how grant funding has broadened access to specialists. At that hospital, which has received Universal Service funding from the FCC, medical staffers “are using broadband to enable remote examination through a live IP video feed and a relatively inexpensive telemedicine cart.” That way, Barton can offer patients access to outside experts in areas such as cardiology, infectious disease and neurology, areas of practice in which the hospital has no in-house specialists.

The new fund seeks to expand those types of telemedicine offerings, as well as support for the exchange of electronic health records. The FCC says that it will cover 65 percent of the cost of a new broadband deployment or upgrade for successful grant applicants, leaving the remaining 35 percent to the healthcare provider.

The Healthcare Connect Fund will also encourage the development of state and regional consortia comprised of individual healthcare providers that can improve their bargaining position by banding together with other facilities. The FCC says that consortia must be primarily rural in their makeup in order to be eligible for funding.

Other providers eligible for the program include public or not-for-profit hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers and educational institutions such as medical schools and teaching hospitals.

Via: Network World