HughesNet Receives Top Review From FCC

  • By John Pearce
  • 24 May, 2016

2015Measuring Broadband AmericaFixed Broadband Report

CC's Office of Engineering and Technology and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau


The 2015 Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report (“2015 Report”) contains the most recent data collected from fixed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as part of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Measuring Broadband America program. This program is an ongoing, rigorous, nationwide study of consumer broadband performance in the United States. We measure the network performance delivered on selected service tiers to a representative sample set of the population. The thousands of volunteer sample panelists are drawn from subscribers of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) serving over 80% of the residential marketplace.

The initial Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report was published in August 2011, and presented the first broad-scale study of directly measured consumer broadband performance throughout the United States. Including the 2015 Report, five reports have now been issued. [1]   These annual reports provide a performance benchmark for fixed broadband Internet access services in the United States, and track progress towards the Commission’s continuing goal of improving the speeds and quality of broadband access commonly available to the American public.

In order to better inform consumers about the potential variability of their broadband service performance, the 2015 Report expands our prior analysis of the consistency of service delivered to the consumer. The 2015 Report also introduces multi-year and regional views of performance. These new regional statistics help show how performance measured in this study varies across the US and what portion of the program’s sample panelists within the United States are reaching the FCC’s new 25 Mbps definition of broadband service. These new charts inform consumers about the consistency in performance of broadband services and show high level performance trends for technologies, service tiers, and geographic areas.

We continue to see significant growth in broadband speeds and in the uptake of these higher speeds by consumers, though results are not uniform across technologies. Spurred by the deployment of enabling technologies such as DOCSIS 3, the maximum advertised download speeds among the most popular service tiers offered by ISPs using cable technologies has increased from 12-30 Mbps in March 2011 to 50-105 Mbps in September 2014. In contrast, the maximum advertised download speeds that SamKnows tested among the most popular service tiers offered by ISPs using DSL technology has remained generally unchanged since 2011. There is a growing disparity in most download speeds tested between many DSL-based broadband services and most cable-based broadband services. [2]

As in our most recent reports, we find that the actual speeds experienced by most ISPs’ subscribers are close to or exceed the advertised speeds. All ISPs using cable, fiber or satellite technologies advertise speeds for services that on average are close to or below the actual speeds experienced by their subscribers. However, some ISPs using DSL technologies continue to advertise “up-to” speeds that on average exceed the actual speeds experienced by their subscribers.

Actual speeds experienced by consumers may vary based on location and may vary during each day. Starting in this report, we now illustrate, for each ISP, the percentage of participating consumers who experienced an actual monthly average download speed that was greater than 95%, between 80% and 95%, and less than 80% of the advertised download speed. Even though the actual download speeds experienced by most ISPs’ subscribers are close to or exceed the advertised download speeds, for each ISP there are some panelists for whom actual download speed falls significantly short of the advertised download speed. Relatively few subscribers to cable, fiber, or satellite broadband service experience such shortfalls.

Consistency of speed may be more important to customers who are heavy users of applications that are both high bandwidth and sensitive to variations in actual speed, such as streaming video. [3]   In this Report, we continue to present statistics on the minimum actual speed that was experienced by at least 80% of panelists during at least 80% of the peak usage period.

Although actual download and upload speeds remain the network performance metric of greatest interest to the consumer, we spotlight two other key network performance metrics in this report: latency and packet loss.

Latency may affect the perceived quality of highly interactive applications such as phone calls over the Internet, video chat, or online multiplayer games. The higher latencies of satellite-based broadband services may negatively affect the perceived quality of such highly interactive applications. However, the differences in average latencies among terrestrial-based broadband services are small, and are unlikely to affect the perceived quality of such highly interactive applications. Furthermore, differences in average latencies across all technologies are unlikely to affect less interactive applications such as web browsing and video streaming.

Packet loss may affect the perceived quality of applications that do not request retransmission of lost packets, such as phone calls over the Internet, video chat, some online multiplayer games, and some video streaming. However, packet losses of a few tenths of a percent are sufficiently small so that they are unlikely to significantly affect the perceived quality of most such applications. Packet losses closer to one percent may affect the perceived quality of some such applications, depending on how the application responds to the packet loss. Packet loss is unlikely to directly affect the perceived quality of applications that do request retransmission of lost packets, such as web browsing and email.

The Internet is continuing to evolve along multiple dimensions: architecture, performance, and services. We will continue to evolve our measurement methodologies to help consumers understand the performance characteristics of their broadband Internet access service, and to thus make informed choices about their use of such services.  

Summary of Key Findings

A.       Most popular advertised service tiers

As explained in more detail in the section on Methodology below, these reports focus on the most popular service tiers offered by each participating ISP, as shown in Table 1, which together constitute the majority of the broadband plans subscribed to by their consumers. Some participating ISPs also offer faster service tiers than shown here, but if their number of subscribers is small, they are not analyzed herein. [4]

Table 1: The most popular advertised service tiers

Chart 1 (below) displays the maximum advertised download speeds among the most popular service tiers for each participating ISP, during the years 2011-2014, grouped by the access technology used to offer the broadband Internet access service (DSL, cable, fiber and satellite). Between September 2013 and September 2014, we observe a 105% increase in the maximum advertised download speeds among the most popular service tiers across participating ISPs weighted by the number of participants using a given ISP; this increase is not uniform across access technologies.

Chart 1 shows that when DSL is used to provide broadband service, the maximum advertised download speeds among the most popular service tiers has remained generally unchanged since 2011. [5]   In contrast, when cable is used to provide broadband service, the maximum advertised download speeds among the most popular service tiers has increased from 12-30 Mbps in March 2011 to 50 - 105 Mbps in September 2014. [6]   In particular, most cable broadband ISPs now offer a 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps download speed tier, taking advantage of the increase in download speeds made possible by the transition from DOCSIS 2 to DOCSIS 3 technology. [7]

Chart 1: Maximum advertised download speed among the most popular service tiers

Among participating broadband ISPs, only Frontier and Verizon use fiber as the access technology for a substantial number of their customers. While the maximum download speed measured by SamKnows for Frontier's fiber product has remained 25 Mbps throughout the couChart 1.51rse of these Reports, the maximum popular download speed included in our survey for Verizon has more than doubled from 35 Mbps to 75 Mbps in 2012 and has remained at that speed in subsequent years.

We report results for ViaSat (Exede) starting September 2012 and for Hughes starting September 2014, representing when each began its respective participation in the program.

The maximum advertised download speed among the most popular service tiers, averaged across all participating ISPs (weighted by the number of panelists) increased from 37.2 Mbps in September 2013 to 72.0 Mbps in September 2014, an increase of 94%. However as noted, this increase in advertised download speed is not uniform across access technologies.

Chart 2 charts the migration of panelists to a higher tier based on their access technology [8] . Specifically, the horizontal axis of Chart 2 partitions the September 2013 panelists by the advertised download speed of the service tier to which they are subscribed. For each such set of panelists who also participated in the September 2014 collection of data [9] , the vertical axis of Chart 2 displays the percentage of panelists that migrated by September 2014 to a service tier with a higher advertised download speed. There are two ways that such a migration can occur: (1) if a panelist changed their broadband plan during the intervening year to a service tier with a higher advertised download speed, or (2) if a panelist did not change their broadband plan but the panelist’s ISP increased the advertised download speed of the panelist’s subscribed plan. [10]

Chart 2 shows that among panelists subscribed in September 2013 to service tiers with advertised download speeds less than 15 Mbps, only a few percent migrated within the following year to a service tier with a higher advertised download speed. In contrast, among panelists subscribed in September 2013 to service tiers with advertised download speeds between 15 Mbps and 30 Mbps, there was a much higher rate of migration within the following year to a service tier with a higher advertised download speed. This observation is consistent with the observations above regarding the maximum advertised download speeds of each access technology.  Generally, speed tiers at 15 Mbps and below are dominated by DSL, while speed tiers above 15 Mbps are dominated by cable and fiber.

Chart 2: Consumer migration to higher advertised download speeds

B. Actual download speeds

Advertised download speeds may differ from that actually experienced by subscribers; this can be the case for several reasons. First, each ISP chooses what speed to advertise, and their decisions may vary. Second, speeds experienced by different consumers subscribed to the same ISP and the same service tier may vary across a geographical region based on the subscriber’s location. Third, speeds experienced by a particular consumer will vary during the day based on variations in the aggregate Internet usage by all subscribers to that consumer’s ISP. We examine each of these factors in turn. Unless stated otherwise, all actual speeds are measured only during peak usage periods.

Chart 3 shows the actual download speeds experienced by each participating ISP’s subscribers -- averaged across all analyzed speed tiers, geography, and time -- from 2011 to 2014. The actual download speed, averaged across all participating ISPs, has tripled during this period, from approximately 10 Mbps in March 2011, to approximately 15 Mbps in September 2012, to nearly 31 Mbps in September 2014.

Chart 3: Actual download speeds by ISP, 2011 to 2014

However, as we observed above when examining advertised download speeds, the increase in actual download speeds is not uniform across access technologies. For subscribers to DSL-based broadband service, the increase in actual download speeds has varied among ISPs. For subscribers to each of the participating cable broadband services, there have been fairly steady and substantial increases in actual download speeds. [11]   We find that, over the course of our reports, the average annual increase in actual download speeds by technology has been 28.2% for DSL [12] , 61.2% for cable, and 19.2% for fiber [13] .

Chart 4 shows the ratio in September 2014 of the actual speeds experienced by an ISP’s subscribers (averaged across both geography and time) to that ISP’s advertised speeds. [14]   The ratios for downloads and uploads are both illustrated. The ratio in September 2014 of the actual download speeds to advertised download speeds, averaged across all panelists, was 105.6%, an increase from the 101.6% reported last year for September 2013. [15]   For uploads, the similar ratio increased to 113.2% compared to the previous year’s 109.1%.

The actual speeds experienced by most ISPs’ subscribers (when averaged across both geography and time) are close to or exceed the advertised speeds. However, some DSL broadband ISPs continue to advertise “up-to” speeds that on average exceed the actual speeds experienced by their subscribers.

Chart 4: The ratio of actual speed to advertised speed

C.       Variations in speeds

As noted above, actual speeds experienced by consumers may vary based on location and may vary during each day. Chart 5 shows, for each ISP, the percentage of consumers (across the ISP’s service territory) who experienced an actual download speed (averaged over the peak usage period during our measurement period) that was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised download speed.

Chart 5: The percentage of consumers whose actual download speed was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised download speed

Even though the actual download speeds experienced by most ISPs’ subscribers (when averaged across both geography and time) are close to or exceed the advertised download speeds, for each ISP there are some panelists for whom actual download speed falls significantly short of the advertised download speed. Relatively few subscribers to cable, fiber, or satellite broadband service experience such shortfalls. The best performing ISPs, when measured by this metric, are Cablevision, Comcast, and Hughes; fewer than 10% of each their panelists were unable to attain an actual average download speed of at least 95% of the advertised download speed. In contrast, many subscribers to some ISPs’ DSL broadband service experience actual download speeds that fall substantially short of advertised download speeds.

In addition to variation based on a subscriber’s location, speeds experienced by a particular consumer will vary during the day based on variations in aggregate usage by all subscribers to that consumer’s ISP. For purposes of discussion, we use the term “80/80 consistent speed” to refer to the minimum actual speed that was experienced by at least 80% of panelists during at least 80% of the peak usage period. Consistency of speed may be more important to customers who are heavy users of applications that are both high bandwidth and sensitive to variations in actual speed. [16]

Chart 6 illustrates, for each ISP, the ratio of 80/80 consistent download speed to advertised download speed, and for reference the ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed shown previously in Chart 4. The ratio of 80/80 consistent download speed to advertised download speed is less than the ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed for all participating ISPs, due to fluctuations in Internet usage that occasionally result in short periods of time when actual download speeds are lower than the overall average. When the difference between the two ratios is small, the actual download speed is fairly insensitive to both geography and time. When the difference between the two ratios is large, there is a greater variability in actual download speed, either based on location or variations during the peak usage period.

Chart 6: The ratio of 80/80 consistent download speed to advertised download speed.

Customers of Cablevision, Comcast, or Verizon Fiber (FiOS) experienced actual download speeds that are very consistent; over 80% of their customers experienced actual download speeds at or above advertised download speeds during at least 80% of the peak usage period. Hughes customers, in contrast, experienced actual download speeds that are highly variable; however, since Hughes advertises conservative download speeds, over 80% of Hughes customers also experienced actual download speeds at or above advertised download speeds during at least 80% of the peak usage period.

In contrast, there are a few ISPs who offer service for which consistent download speed falls substantially short of their advertised download speed, even though the actual download speed (averaged over geography and time) may meet or exceed the advertised download speed. Finally, as we observed above, some DSL broadband ISPs’ actual download speed falls substantially short of their advertised download speed; the gap between their consistent download speed and advertised download speed is even greater.

D. Latency

Latency is the time it takes for a data packet to travel from one point to another in a network. It increases with distance of the route between the source and destination and with any congestion on the route, and decreases as actual speed increases. The Measuring Broadband America program measures latency by measuring the round-trip time from the consumer’s home to the closest measurement server and back.

Chart 7 shows the average latency for each participating ISP. The data suggest that average latency is strongly influenced by the technology used by the ISP. In particular, satellite-based broadband service transmits packets to and from the consumer through a satellite. As a consequence, the distances of the paths used by satellite-based broadband services are much higher than those used by terrestrial technologies (DSL, cable, and fiber), and the average latencies of satellite-based broadband services (which range from 603 ms to 659 ms) are much higher than those for terrestrial-based broadband services (which range from 14 ms to 52 ms).

Chart 7: Latency by ISP

(a)     Terrestrial ISPs

(b)     Satellite ISPs

Latency may directly affect the perceived quality of highly interactive applications such as phone calls over the Internet, video chat, or online multiplayer games. The higher latencies of satellite-based broadband services may negatively affect the perceived quality of such highly interactive applications. However, the differences in average latencies among terrestrial-based broadband services are small, and are unlikely to affect the perceived quality of such highly interactive applications.

These differences in average latencies are unlikely to affect less interactive applications such as web browsing and video streaming, except for creating indirect effects on actual speed. Latency may indirectly affect the actual speed of the service due to its impact on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), the software protocol commonly used to control the transport of information on the Internet. However, this effect may be more directly observed by considering the actual speed observed by consumers of a particular ISP at a particular service tier.

E. Packet loss

Packet loss is the percentage of packets that are sent by the source but not received by the destination. The most common reason that a packet is not received is that it encountered congestion along the route. A small amount of packet loss is expected, and indeed some Internet protocols use the packet loss to understand Internet congestion and to adjust the sending rate accordingly. The Measuring Broadband America program denotes a packet as lost if the latency exceeds 3 seconds or if the packet is never received.

Chart 8 shows the average packet loss for each participating ISP, grouped by technology.

Chart 8:  Packet loss by ISP

Packet loss may directly affect the perceived quality of applications that do not request retransmission of lost packets, such as phone calls over the Internet, video chat, some online multiplayer games, and some video streaming. However, packet losses of a few tenths of a percent are sufficiently small so that they are unlikely to significantly affect the perceived quality of most such applications. Packet losses closer to one percent may affect the perceived quality of some such applications, depending on how the application responds to the packet loss.

Packet loss is unlikely to directly affect the perceived quality of applications that do request retransmission of lost packets, such as web browsing and email, except for creating indirect effects on actual speed. Packet loss may indirectly affect the actual speed of the service due to its impact on TCP. However, this effect may be more directly observed by considering the actual speed observed by consumers of a particular ISP at a particular service tier.

F. Web Browsing Performance

The Measuring Broadband America program also conducts a specific test to gauge web browsing performance.

The web browsing test accesses 9 popular websites that include text and images, but not streaming video. The time required to download a webpage depends on many factors, including a consumer’s actual download speed within an ISP’s network, the web server’s speed, congestion in other networks outside the consumer’s ISP’s network (if any), and the time required to identify the location of the webserver. Of all of these factors, only the actual download speed within an ISP’s network is within the control of the consumer’s ISP. Chart 9 displays the average webpage download time by the advertised download speed. Users subscribing to a service tier with a 1.5 Mbps download speed on average wait for approximately 7.5 seconds for a webpage containing text and images; users subscribing to a service tier with a 5 Mbps download speed on average wait only approximately 2.5 seconds; and users subscribing to a service tier with a 25 Mbps download speed on average wait on only approximately 1 second. Subscribers to service tiers with an advertised download speed exceeding 25 Mbps on average do not experience significantly reduced webpage download time. These download times assume that a single user is using the Internet connection at the time at which the webpage is downloaded, and does not account for more typical scenarios where multiple users within a household are simultaneously using the Internet connection for multiple uses, such as real-time gaming or video streaming.

Chart 9: Average webpage download time, by advertised download speed

 

Methodology

A.       Participants

Thirteen ISPs participated in the Fixed Measuring Broadband America program in September 2014. [17]   They are:

  • AT&T
  • Cablevision Systems Corporation
  • CenturyLink
  • Charter Communications
  • Comcast
  • Cox Communications
  • Frontier Communications Company
  • Hughes Network Systems
  • Mediacom Communications Corporation
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Verizon
  • ViaSat
  • Windstream Communications

The methodologies and assumptions underlying the measurements described in this Report are reviewed at meetings that are open to all interested parties, and documented in public   ex parte   letters filed in the GN Docket No. 12-264. Participation in this effort is open and voluntary.  In 2014-2015, participants at these meetings (collectively and informally referred to as “the broadband collaborative”), included all thirteen participating ISPs and the following additional organizations:

  • Adtran
  • Corning
  • Fiber to the Home Council
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Genband
  • Intel
  • Internet Society
  • JDSU
  • Level 3 Communications (¿Level 3¿)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (¿MIT¿)
  • M-Lab
  • Motorola
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Association (¿NCTA¿)
  • New America Foundation
  • Practicum Team, NCSU, Institute for Advanced Analytics
  • United States Telecom Association (¿US Telecom¿)

Participants have contributed importantly to the integrity of this program. Initial proposals for test metrics and testing platforms were discussed and critiqued within the broadband collaborative. M-Lab and Level 3 contributed their core network testing infrastructure, and both parties continue to provide invaluable assistance in helping to define and implement the FCC testing platform. Policy decisions regarding our program involving such things as test periods, mitigation of operational issues, terms of use notifications to panelists, etc. are discussed at these meetings prior to adoption. Participation in these discussions from diverse groups representing academia, consumer equipment vendors, telecommunications vendors, network service providers, consumer policy advocates as well as our contractor for this project, SamKnows, provide valuable feedback for FCC decisions on the deployment and ongoing management of this program. We wish to thank the participants for their contributions to this program.

B. Measurement process

The measurements that provide the underlying data in this Report rely both on measurement clients and measurement servers. The measurement clients reside in the homes of 5,583 panelists who receive service by the 13 participating ISPs.  The participating ISPs collectively account for over 80% of U.S. residential broadband Internet connections. The panelists closely match the overall state and region statistics of Internet access connections in the United States as reflected in the Commission’s Form 477 data. [18]

The measurement servers are hosted by M-Lab and Level 3 Communications, and are located in 9 cities across the United States near a point of interconnection between the ISP’s network and the network on which the measurement server resides. [19]

The measurement clients collect data throughout the year, and this data is available as described below. However, only data collected from September 1, 2014 to September 16, 2014 and from September 27, 2014 to October 11, 2014 (referred to throughout this report as the “September 2014” reporting period) are used to generate the charts in this Report. [20]

One of the key factors affecting all aspects of broadband performance is the time of day. At peak hours more people are attempting to use their broadband Internet connections, giving rise to a greater potential for congestion and degraded user performance. Unless otherwise stated, this Report focuses on performance during peak usage period, which is defined as weeknights between 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM local time. Focusing on peak usage period provides the most useful information because it demonstrates the performance users can expect when the Internet in their local area is experiencing highest demand from users.

Although the Report generally focuses on each participating ISP’s entire service territory, in this Report we also briefly analyze network performance in each of the four census regions of the United States. [21]    

Our methodology focuses on performance within each participating ISP’s network. The metrics discussed in this Report are derived from traffic flowing between a measurement client (located within the modem or router within a panelist’s home) and a measurement server.  For each panelist, the tests use the measurement server for which the latency between the measurement client and server is the lowest. As a result, the metrics measure congestion (if any) within each ISP’s network, as well as congestion (if any) at a point of interconnection between the ISP’s network and the network on which the measurement server resides; however, since each panelist’s tests rely on a single measurement server, the metrics will only measure congestion (if any) at a single point of interconnection.

However, the performance that a consumer may experience may differ for at least three reasons. First, a consumer may be communicating with a point on the Internet that is outside the network of the consumer’s ISP. There may be congestion in a portion of the Internet along the route that is outside the network of the consumer’s ISP; the effects of this congestion on the user experience is not reflected in the data set forth in this Report. Second, a consumer’s home network may be the bottleneck, rather than the ISP’s network. This may occur, for instance, if the home network’s maximum transmission rate is lower than the advertised speed of the selected service tier; if a device is communicating with a Wi-Fi home router at a reduced speed due to walls or obstructions in between the device and the router; if multiple users within the home are currently sharing the total actual speed available; or if there is congestion within the home network due to transfers of data within the home. Third, consumers typically view performance through the lens of a set of applications that they utilize. The performance as seen through a particular application depends on both the network performance and on the application performance. While network performance is considered in this Report, application performance is generally not. For instance, if a consumer is web-browsing, the delay from a request for a webpage to the display of that webpage includes network latency (considered in this Report), the time it takes for the webserver to respond to the request, and the time it takes for the browser to render that webpage. The latter two components of the total delay are only considered in the Web Browsing test. For other commonly used applications, this Report does not consider components of the application performance that are outside the control of the ISP.

C. Measurement tests and performance metrics

This Report is based on the following measurement tests:

·           Download speed: Measures the download speed over a 5 second time interval, every 2 hours; the results are then averaged to determine the “actual download speed” for each panelist.

·           Upload speed: Measures the upload speed over a 5 second time interval, every 2 hours; the results are then averaged to determine the “actual upload speed” for each panelist.

·           Latency and packet loss: Measures the round-trip times for packets sent at randomly distributed times. Times less than 3 seconds are averaged to determine “average latency”. Acknowledgements not received or received with a round-trip time greater than 3 seconds determine “packet loss”.

·           Web browsing: Measures the total time to request and receive webpages (including the text and images on each webpage) from 9 popular websites, every hour. The measurement includes the time required to translate the webpage name into the webserver’s IP address.

The Measuring Broadband America program also runs three tests that are not used in this Report, but for which data is available as described in section 2.D.

This Report focuses on three performance metrics that are of particular relevance to consumers of broadband Internet access service: speed, latency, and packet loss. Download and upload speeds are the primary network performance characteristic advertised by ISPs. Actual download speed is the average rate at which information can be downloaded by the consumer. Higher speeds indicate a higher delivery rate. However, as discussed above, the performance observed by a user in any given circumstance depends not only on the actual speed of the ISP’s network, but also on the speed of other parts of the Internet and on the speed of the application itself. [22]

Latency is the time it takes for a data packet to travel from one point to another in a network. It increases with distance of the route or path between the source and destination and with any congestion on the route. The Measuring Broadband America program measures the round-trip time between the consumer’s home and the closest measurement server. Latency may directly affect the perceived quality of highly interactive applications, such as real-time two-way voice applications, [23]   video chat, or interactive games. Latency may also indirectly affect actual speed. Some applications consist of a sequence of network tasks, so the effect of network latencies may accumulate.

Packet loss is the percentage of packets that are sent by the source but not received by the destination. The most common reason for packet loss is that the packet encountered congestion along the route. A small amount of packet loss is expected, and indeed some Internet protocols use packet loss to understand network congestion, and adjust the sending rate accordingly.  The Measuring Broadband America program denotes a packet as lost if the latency exceeds 3 seconds or if the packet is never received.

The Technical Appendix for the 2015 Report provides specific information regarding the process by which measurements were made and describes each test that was performed.

D.       Availability of Data

The Validated Data Set [24]   on which this Report was based, as well as the full results of all tests, are available at http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america .

In addition to the Validated Data Set for the September 2014 reference month, in the interest of transparency and to support additional research, raw data for the reference month as well as other months is available at the same website. Previous reports of the Measuring Broadband America program, as well as the data used to produce them, are also available at the same website.

Both the Commission and SamKnows, the Commission’s contractor for this program, recognize that, while the methodology descriptions included in this document provide an overview of the project as a whole, there will be a number of interested parties – ranging from recognized experts to members of the general public – who would be willing to contribute to the project by reviewing the actual software used in the testing. SamKnows welcomes review of its software and technical platform, consistent with the Commission’s goals of openness and transparency for this program. [25]

Test Results

A. Most popular advertised service tiers

ISPs often increase the advertised upload speeds at the same time that they increase the advertised download speeds. Between September 2013 and September 2014, several ISPs increased the maximum advertised download speeds among the most popular service tiers.  Concurrently, these providers also increased the corresponding upload speeds: Cablevision from 5 Mbps to 35 Mbps, CenturyLink from 768 kbps to 5 Mbps, Comcast from 10 Mbps to 20 Mbps and Verizon (fiber) from 35 Mbps to 75 Mbps.

Chart 1 (in section 2.A) above displayed the maximum advertised download speeds among the most popular service tiers for each participating ISP, during the years 2011-2014, grouped by the access technology used to offer the broadband Internet access service (DSL, cable, fiber and satellite). Chart 10 below displays the corresponding maximum advertised upload speeds. In particular, when DSL is used to provide broadband service, the maximum advertised upload speeds among the most popular service tiers has remained generally unchanged since 2011. In contrast, among cable-based broadband providers, the maximum advertised upload speeds among the most popular service tiers increased from 1-5 Mbps in March 2011 to 4-35 Mbps in September 2014.

Chart 10: Maximum advertised upload speed among the most popular service tiers

B.       Actual speeds

Chart 3 showed the actual download speeds experienced by each ISP’s participating subscribers, averaged across both geography and time, from 2011 to 2014. Chart 11 below shows the corresponding actual upload speeds.

The actual upload speed, averaged across all participating ISPs, has tripled during this period, from approximately 3 Mbps in March 2011 to approximately 9 Mbps in September 2014.

Chart 11: Actual upload speeds by ISP, 2011 to 2014

However, the increases in actual download and upload speeds are not uniform across access technologies. Charts 12.1 and 12.2 show the actual download and upload speeds by technology, from 2011 to 2014. For subscribers to DSL broadband service, the increase in actual speeds has depended on the ISP. For subscribers to any participating cable broadband service, there have been fairly steady and substantial increases in actual upload speeds .   We find that over the course of our reports, the annual average increase in upload speeds by technology has been 77.4% for cable, 27.7% for fiber and 12.5% for DSL.  

Chart 12.1: Actual download speeds by technology, 2011 to 2014

Chart 12.2: Actual upload speeds by technology, 2011 to 2014

Chart 4 (in section 2.B) showed the ratio in September 2014 of the actual speeds experienced by each ISP’s subscribers (averaged across both geography and time) to advertised speeds. Charts 13.1 and 13.2 below show the same ratio for each ISP from 2011 to 2014. The actual speeds experienced by most ISPs’ subscribers (when averaged across both geography and time) have been close to, or have exceeded, the advertised speeds during most of this time period. However, as noted above, some DSL broadband ISPs continue to advertise “up-to” speeds that on average exceed the actual speeds experienced by their subscribers.

Chart 13.1: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, 2011 to 2014

 

Chart 13.2: The ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed, 2011 to 2014

C. Variations in speeds

As noted above, actual speeds experienced by consumers may vary based on location and time of day. Chart 5 (in section 2.C) showed, for each ISP, the percentage of consumers (across the ISP’s service territory) who experienced an actual download speed (averaged over the peak usage period) that was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised download speed. Chart 14 below shows the corresponding percentage of consumers whose actual upload speed fell in each range.

 

Chart 14: The percentage of consumers whose actual upload speed was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised upload speed

Even though the actual upload speeds experienced by most ISP’s subscribers (when averaged across both geography and time) are close to or exceed the advertised upload speeds, for each ISP there are some subscribers whose actual upload speed falls significantly short of the advertised upload speed. Relatively few subscribers to cable, fiber, or satellite broadband service experience such shortfalls.  However, the data suggest that many of the subscribers of some ISP’s DSL broadband service often experience actual upload speeds that fall substantially short of advertised upload speeds.

We can learn more about the variation in network performance by separately examining variation across geography and time. We start by examining the variation across geography within each participating ISP’s service territory. For each ISP, we first calculate the ratio of the actual download speed (averaged over the peak usage period) to the advertised download speed for each panelist subscribing to that ISP. We then examine the distribution of this ratio across the ISP’s service territory.

Charts 15.1 and 15.2 show the complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual download speed (averaged over the peak usage period) to advertised download speed for each participating ISP. For each ratio of actual to advertised download speed on the horizontal axis, the curves show the percentage of panelists subscribing to each ISP that experienced at least this ratio [26] . For example, the Cox curve in Chart 15.1 shows that 90% of Cox subscribers experienced an actual download speed exceeding 80% of the advertised download speed, while 70% experienced an actual download speed exceeding 96% of the advertised download speed and 50% experienced an actual download speed exceeding 101% of the advertised download speed. Curves that fall steeply around near 100% of the advertised download speed, like that of Cox, indicate that a high percentage of subscribers experience a ratio near 100%. In contrast, curves that fall slowly, like that of Frontier DSL’s download ratio, indicate that there is a wider range of performance within the service territory.

Chart 15.1: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed

Chart 15.2: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed (continued)

The curves for cable-based broadband and fiber-based broadband are steeper than those for DSL-based broadband and satellite-based broadband. This can be more clearly seen in Chart 15.3, which plots aggregate curves for each technology. Approximately 70% of subscribers to fiber- and cable-based technologies experience actual download speeds exceeding the advertised download speed. In contrast, only approximately 35% of subscribers to DSL-based broadband experience actual download speeds exceeding the advertised download speed. [27]   Over 80% of subscribers to satellite-based broadband experience actual download speeds exceeding the advertised download speed.

Chart 15.3: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, by technology

Charts 15.4-15.6 show the complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual upload speed (averaged over the peak usage period) to advertised upload speed for each participating ISP (charts 15.4 and 15.5) and by access technology (chart 15.6).

Chart 15.4: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed

Chart 15.5: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed (continued)

 

Chart 15.6: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed, by technology

All actual speeds discussed above are measured only during peak usage periods, which for purposes of this Report are defined as weekdays between 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm local time. In contrast, Charts 16.1 and 16.2 compare the ratio of actual speed to advertised speed during peak and off-peak times.

Chart 16.1: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, peak versus off-peak

Chart 16.2: The ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed, peak versus off-peak

Charts 17.1 and 17.2 show the download ratio in each 2 hour time block during weekdays for each ISP. The ratio is lowest during the busiest 2 hour time block (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm).

Chart 17.1: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, M-F 2 hour time blocks, terrestrial ISPs

Chart 17.2: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, M-F 2 hour time blocks, satellite ISPs

 

Chart 6 (in section 2.C) Illustrated, for each ISP, the ratio of actual download speed that was experienced by at least 80% of panelists for at least 80% of the peak usage period (“80/80 consistent download speed”) to advertised download speed, and for reference the ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed shown previously in Chart 4. We expand on the theme of consistent speed in the following charts.

Chart 18.1 illustrates information for 80/80 consistent upload speed.

Chart 18.1: The ratio of 80/80 consistent upload speed to advertised upload speed.

Charts 18.2 and 18.3 illustrate similar consistency metrics for 70/70 consistent speeds, i.e., the actual speed experienced by at least 70% of panelists during at least 70% of the peak usage period. The ratios for 70/70 consistent speeds are higher than the corresponding ratios for 80/80 consistent speeds. In fact, for many ISPs, the 70/70 consistent download speed is close to or higher than the advertised download speed.

Chart 18.2: The ratio of 70/70 consistent download speed to advertised download speed.

Chart 18.3: The ratio of 70/70 consistent upload speed to advertised upload speed.

Chart 19 shows the variations among the four U.S. census regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, and West) in the advertised download speed and actual download speed, averaged across all panelists in each region. [28]   While no single technology was the fastest in all regions, for cable- and fiber- based broadband, both the average advertised download speed and the average actual download speed among the most popular service tiers exceeded 25 Mbps in each region.

Chart 19: Advertised download speed and actual download speed, by region and by technology

D. Latency

Chart 7 (in section 2.D) illustrates the average latency for each participating ISP. We observed that average latency depends primarily on the technology used by the ISP. Chart 20 below shows the average latency, by technology and by advertised download speed. For a given technology, latency varies little with advertised download speed.

Chart 20: Latency, by technology and by advertised download speed

Additional test results

A. Actual speed, by service tier

As shown in Charts 21.1-21.6, peak usage period performance varied by service tier among ISPs included in this study during the September 2014 test period. On average, during peak periods, the   ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed for   all ISPs are 74% or better, and 90% or better for the majority of ISPs. However, theratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed   varies among service tiers.

Chart 21.1: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, by ISP (1-5 Mbps)

Chart 21.2: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, by ISP (6-10 Mbps)

Chart 21. 3: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, by ISP (12-15 Mbps)

Chart 21.4: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, by ISP (18-25 Mbps)

Chart 21.5: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, by ISP (30-50 Mbps)

Chart 21.6: The ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed, by ISP (60-105 Mbps)

Charts 22.1 –22.5 depict the ratio of actual upload speeds to advertised upload speeds for each ISP by service tier.

Chart 22.1: The ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed, by ISP (0.256-0.64 Mbps)

Chart 22.2: The ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed, by ISP (0.768-1.5 Mbps)

Chart 22.5: The ratio of actual upload speed to advertised upload speed, by ISP (35-75 Mbps)

Table 2 lists the advertised download speed tiers included in this study, and compares this with the average of an ISP’s actual download speed results from September 2014. As before, we note that the actual download speeds listed here are based on national averages, and may not represent the performance experienced by any particular consumer at any given time or place.

Table 2: Peak Period Actual Download Speed, by ISP

Actual Download Speed (Mbps)

Advertised Download Speed (Mbps)

ISP

Actual Speed / Advertised Speed

0.85

0.5 - 1

Verizon DSL

85% - 170%

0.96

1

Frontier DSL

95.9%

1.3

1.5

CenturyLink

84.5%

2.2

1.1 - 3

Verizon DSL

74.2% - 202.4%

2.5

3

AT&T DSL

82.4%

2.7

3

CenturyLink

88.4%

3.4

3

Comcast

112.4%

2.3

3

Windstream

78%

2.2

3

Frontier DSL

74.2%

5.1

5

Cox

102.8%

6.9

6

AT&T U-Verse

115.5%

4.8

6

AT&T DSL

79.9%

5.2

6

Windstream

87.2%

4.9

6

Frontier DSL

81.6%

6.2

7

CenturyLink

88.2%

8.4

10

CenturyLink

84.4%

13.2

12

AT&T U-Verse

110.2%

11.4

12

CenturyLink

95%

9.5

12

Windstream

79.3%

17.9

15

Cablevision

119%

15.1

15

Charter

100.3%

17.5

15

Mediacom

116.7%

14.6

15

TWC

97.4%

19.2

15

Verizon Fiber

127.9%

19.7

18

AT&T U-Verse

109.5%

17.3

20

CenturyLink

86.4%

19.5

20

TWC

97.3%

26.2

24

AT&T U-Verse

109.3%

27.7

25

Comcast

110.9%

23.9

25

Cox

95.5%

23.7

25

Frontier Fiber

94.6%

27.6

25

Verizon Fiber

110.2%

28.6

30

Charter

95.2%

30.9

30

TWC

103.1%

40.4

35

Verizon Fiber

115.5%

34.6

40

CenturyLink

86.5%

56.5

50

Cablevision

113%

54.7

50

Comcast

109.4%

49.6

50

Cox

99.1%

43.6

50

Mediacom

87.1%

50.0

50

TWC

100%

54.4

50

Verizon Fiber

108.9%

60.2

60

Charter

100.3%

76.1

75

Verizon Fiber

101.4%

94.6

100

Charter

94.6%

92.8

100

Cox

92.8%

95.3

100

TWC

95.3%

106.8

101

Cablevision

105.7%

99.4

105

Comcast

94.6%

B. Variations in speed

In Section 3.C, we presented speed consistency metrics for each ISP based on test results averaged across all service tiers. In the present section, we provide the detailed results for each individual speed tier of each ISP.

Chart 23.1: The percentage of consumers whose actual download speed was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised download speed, by speed tier

Chart 23.3: The percentage of consumers whose actual download speed was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised download speed (continued).

Chart 24.1: The percentage of consumers whose actual upload speed was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised upload speed.

Chart 24.2: The percentage of consumers whose actual upload speed was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised upload speed (continued).

Chart 24.3: The percentage of consumers whose actual upload speed was (a) greater than 95%, (b) between 80% and 95%, and (c) less than 80% of the advertised upload speed (continued).

In Section 3.C, we presented complementary cumulative distributions for each ISP based on test results averaged across all service tiers. In the present section we provide tables showing selected points on these distributions by each individual ISP and technology.

Table 3: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of   actual download speed to advertised download speed, by technology, by ISP

 ISP

20%

50%

70%

80%

90%

95%

AT&T (U-verse)

125%

118%

105%

98%

89%

79%

AT&T (DSL)

89%

82%

80%

78%

70%

48%

Cablevision

118%

115%

112%

108%

101%

94%

CenturyLink

102%

89%

80%

73%

60%

51%

Charter

105%

101%

98%

94%

88%

80%

Comcast

118%

115%

111%

107%

97%

80%

Cox

105%

101%

97%

92%

81%

66%

Frontier Fiber

101%

100%

98%

84%

75%

70%

Frontier DSL

97%

88%

71%

60%

43%

32%

Hughes

268%

203%

187%

170%

142%

83%

Mediacom

126%

119%

110%

99%

71%

44%

TWC

107%

103%

97%

92%

80%

68%

Verizon Fiber

116%

111%

105%

99%

92%

82%

Verizon DSL (Mid-Range)

134%

123%

108%

78%

60%

47%

ViaSat/Exede

148%

118%

82%

58%

45%

30%

Windstream

100%

91%

74%

61%

42%

28%

Table 4: Complementary cumulative distribution of the ratio of   actual upload speed to advertised upload speed, by technology, by ISP

 ISP

20%

50%

70%

80%

90%

95%

AT&T (U-verse)

141%

124%

121%

111%

91%

87%

AT&T (DSL)

120%

102%

78%

75%

44%

28%

Cablevision

114%

109%

103%

100%

98%

86%

CenturyLink

94%

87%

81%

78%

73%

60%

Charter

106%

105%

105%

104%

102%

98%

Comcast

119%

118%

117%

115%

113%

109%

Cox

105%

104%

103%

98%

99%

83%

Frontier Fiber

120%

107%

100%

93%

70%

49%

Frontier DSL

99%

90%

86%

81%

64%

45%

Hughes

182%

165%

152%

136%

118%

113%

Mediacom

188%

185%

116%

109%

101%

98%

TWC

110%

106%

104%

103%

100%

81%

Verizon Fiber

122%

107%

101%

89%

77%

65%

Verizon DSL (Mid-Range)

121%

102%

83%

62%

55%

47%

ViaSat/Exede

178%

176%

171%

166%

156%

104%

Windstream

84%

81%

79%

77%

72%

69%

As discussed in prior Reports, some cable ISPs offer “burst speed” techniques which temporarily allocate more bandwidth to a consumer’s service. The effect is temporary—typically lasting less than 15 to 20 seconds—and may be reduced by other broadband activities occurring within the consumer household. [29]    Burst speed is not equivalent to actual speed, and may be more useful with certain applications than with others. For example, large file transfers, video streaming, and video chat require the transfer of large amounts of information over sustained periods of time. However, other activities require the transfer of moderate amounts of information in a short interval of time, and may benefit from burst speed techniques.

Comparing burst download speeds to actual download speeds demonstrates the effect that burst services can have on data throughput. To test for the possible effect of burst technology, we compare the average download speed in the first five seconds of a speed test to the average download speed in the last five seconds of a total 30 second test. Large differences may indicate the use of burst technology, while smaller differences are likely the effect of variable packet performance.

We have tracked this metric from the inception of these reports. As broadband speeds have increased, the measurable impact of using this burst technique has diminished. Correspondingly, only two ISPs (Cox and Mediacom) use this technique now. This year, therefore, we have restricted the results to only those two participating ISPs that have affirmed that they are using burst technology. Chart 25 shows burst download speed results. [30]   Mediacom’s 15 Mbps advertised download speed tier showed a 28% increase from actual download speed to burst download speed, and Cox’s 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps advertised download speed tiers showed 11%-13% increases from actual download speed to burst download speed.  Other tiers offered by these broadband providers showed less than a 10% increase.

Chart 25: Peak Period Burst Download Speeds as a Percentage Increase over Actual Download Speeds, by ISP (where tiers showed a greater than 10% Increase)

The use of burst speed techniques on uploads is even less prevalent.

C. Web browsing performance, by service tier

In the present section we provide the detailed results of the webpage download time for each individual speed tier of each ISP.

Chart 26.1: Average webpage download time, by ISP (1-3 Mbps)                      

Chart 26.2: Average webpage download time, by ISP (5-10 Mbps)

Chart 26.5: Average webpage download time, by ISP (30-50 Mbps)

Chart 26.6: Average webpage download time, by ISP (60-105 Mbps)

D. Methodology and Sampling Plan for Statewide Statistics

The program’s methodology and sampling plan is designed to measure ISP performance by census region in order to provide statistics at a national level. While the sampling plan was not designed to provide first order inferences by region or state geography, in some cases the subscriber counts and data do support some aggregated statistics by technology and region, and statistics by state. In order to calculate statistics for the more specific levels of regional and state geography, measurements must be aggregated across ISPs and technologies to ensure an adequate number of measurements are available. Table 5 displays the aggregate performance of all ISPs and technologies across all speed tiers in 2013 and 2014. However, as Table 6 indicates, some states do not have a sufficient number of samples and are excluded. For states with sufficient number of aggregated samples, Table 5 shows the Average Download Speed (the average of all actual download speeds) and the Average Tier Speed (the average of all advertised download speeds). The Total Sample Count shows the total number of subscribers for the State, and the cable, DSL, fiber, and satellite columns show the number of subscribers for a given technology, respectively.

Table 5: Statewide Download Speed with Sample Size by Technology

State

Average Download Speed (Mbps)

Average Tier Speed (Mbps)

Sample Size

TOTAL

Subdivided by Technology

Cable

DSL

Fiber

Satellite

AL

29.97

29.34

51

26

18

0

7

AR

14.23

14.5

39

9

25

0

5

AZ

37.66

40.03

218

161

54

0

3

CA

31.3

30.31

489

303

119

52

15

CO

22.79

22.64

117

39

71

0

7

CT

46.94

44.12

65

63

0

1

1

FL

26.9

27.85

173

81

69

18

5

GA

25.32

25.9

155

78

74

0

3

IA

29.26

33.57

172

128

44

0

0

ID

13.87

14.35

29

6

23

0

0

IL

25.99

25.21

185

107

71

0

7

IN

21.54

22.4

88

50

27

7

4

KS

36.83

40.09

33

23

9

0

1

KY

16.09

17.65

106

63

38

1

4

LA

32.52

30.96

41

30

4

0

7

MA

35.49

32.03

95

45

12

36

2

MD

39.01

36.67

81

19

6

55

1

MI

35.35

33.79

149

101

36

0

12

MN

23.29

23.85

136

73

63

0

0

MO

38.79

39.55

119

61

50

0

8

NC

21.43

21.17

190

118

68

0

4

NE

25.08

27.12

49

26

23

0

0

NJ

57.03

52.04

213

152

12

48

1

NM

21.08

22

52

20

32

0

0

NV

35.45

35.31

47

28

19

0

0

NY

41.31

38.71

380

280

35

57

8

OH

14.22

14.68

224

125

97

0

2

OK

31.75

31.98

62

40

17

0

5

OR

26.29

26.03

161

50

28

80

3

PA

25.9

24.88

167

49

65

52

1

SC

31.29

30.65

72

49

19

0

4

TN

26.08

25.76

70

57

11

0

2

TX

29.62

27.73

203

84

84

30

5

UT

28.53

29.07

40

23

17

0

0

VA

37.08

37.40

210

74

32

97

7

WA

25.26

24.8

181

84

51

43

3

WI

28.83

28.3

164

110

47

0

7

Table 6: States with Low Sample Counts

2013

Count

2014

Count

DC

7

DC

13

DE

9

DE

9

HI

10

HI

11

LA

17

 

 

ME

8

ME

13

MS

7

MS

12

MT

3

MT

2

ND

2

ND

1

NH

13

 

 

RI

7

RI

9

SD

2

SD

3

VT

1

VT

6

WV

9

WV

16

WY

1

WY

1

* LA and NH had sufficient samples for 2014.

In order to provide statistical background for the availability of technologies by state, Table 7 reproduces Form 477 statistics on the availability of particular broadband speeds for states, regions and technologies published in Table 16 of the October 2014 Internet Access Services Report. [31]

Table 7: Form 477 Statistics for Connections by Technology by State as of December 31, 2013 for States in Table B.4

State

ADSL Percent of Total

SDSL Percent of Total

Cable Modem Percent of Total

Fiber Percent of Total

ADSL Connections

SDSL Connections

Cable Modem Connections

Fiber Connections

Total Connections

AL

13.78%

0.10%

16.95%

0.29%

527

4

648

11

3823

AR

14.97%

*

13.86%

0.47%

350

*

324

11

2338

AZ

11.52%

*

22.24%

0.11%

649

*

1253

6

5634

CA

10.85%

0.03%

14.80%

2.14%

4205

11

5735

830

38742

CO

*

*

18.47%

0.14%

*

*

952

7

5154

CT

*

0.03%

21.71%

0.17%

*

1

783

6

3606

FL

10.14%

0.01%

21.36%

2.47%

1928

1

4060

469

19009

GA

13.80%

0.02%

16.03%

0.49%

1223

2

1420

43

8860

IA

16.29%

0.04%

17.43%

2.62%

386

1

413

62

2369

ID

16.33%

*

12.53%

0.30%

219

*

168

4

1341

IL

12.30%

0.05%

17.95%

0.22%

1470

6

2145

26

11952

IN

13.95%

0.02%

17.00%

1.77%

747

1

910

95

5354

KS

11.77%

0.04%

19.31%

2.84%

286

1

469

69

2429

KY

13.99%

0.06%

17.54%

0.83%

508

2

637

30

3631

MA

*

0.01%

23.36%

*

*

1

1568

*

6711

MD

*

0.03%

15.90%

*

*

2

912

*

5737

MI

10.27%

0.07%

20.84%

0.15%

904

6

1835

13

8805

MN

12.87%

0.29%

18.65%

1.00%

631

14

914

49

4902

MO

16.43%

*

14.04%

0.68%

850

*

726

35

5172

NC

12.83%

*

22.60%

0.56%

1071

*

1886

47

8346

NE

11.33%

*

21.59%

1.00%

181

*

345

16

1598

NJ

3.34%

0.01%

20.37%

*

310

1

1890

*

9279

Note: Data unavailable from the Internet Access Report or unable to be calculated is denoted by *.

Appendix A: AT&T Separation of IP-based U-verse from ATM-based DSL

                               

The   FCC received the following request from AT&T to separate out IP-based U-verse services from ATM-based DSL services for the 2015 Measure Broadband Report (see attachment below). This was agreed to by the FCC and the current Report differentiates between these services.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

James K. Smith

Assistant Vice President

Federal Regulatory

AT&T Services, Inc.

1120 20th   Street, NW

Suite 1000

Washington, D.C. 20036

T: 202 457 3010

F: 202 457 3070

 

February 20, 2015

Mr. Walter Johnston
Chief, Electromagnetic Compatibility Division
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th   Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

 

Re:   Measuring Broadband America Program ; GN Docket 12-264

 Dear Mr. Johnston:              

On August 18, 2014 and February 13, 2015, discussions were had with FCC Staff and representatives of SamKnows concerning AT&T’s desire to separately Report IP-based U-verse broadband results for the Measuring Broadband America (MBA) 2014 test period.  Initially, AT&T offered broadband Internet access services over ATM-based DSL.  Since the publication of the Commission’s first MBA Report, AT&T has invested significantly in its IP-based U-verse broadband platform. As a result of this investment in IP technology, combined with an aggressive effort to migrate legacy ATM-based Internet customers to AT&T’s more robust IP-based U-verse technology, AT&T now has more than 12M IP-based U-verse high speed Internet customers.  Furthermore, 62% of U-verse broadband customers have plans delivering up to 12 Mbps or higher as of September 2014.

In light of this technology evolution and continuing efforts to migrate legacy ATM-based DSL broadband customers to the more advanced IP-based U-verse technology, AT&T believes that it is now appropriate for the Commission to separately Report MBA test results for AT&T’s IP-based U-verse subscribers. Accordingly, AT&T hereby requests that the Commission’s MBA Report for the 2014 test period, and any subsequent years, Report separately the results for AT&T’s IP-based U-verse broadband subscribers as distinct from its legacy ATM-based DSL broadband subscribers.

 Sincerely,

  /s/   James K. Smith

 James K. Smith

 CC: Rajender Razdan

 

 

[1]   The 2011 report was based on measurements taken in March 2011, the 2012 report on measurements taken in April 2012, and the 2013 through 2015 reports on measurements taken in September of the previous year.

[2] It is important to note some limitations on the results contained in this Report. Generally, only the most popular service tiers among an ISP's offerings were tested, even though some service providers may offer other tiers not represented by volunteers contributing data to the program. We note that a particular ISP may offer faster speed tiers either throughout their territory or in specific portions of their territory that are not as popular as the speed tiers we tested.

[3]   Video traffic currently comprises over 60% of Internet traffic, and some expect it to grow to 80% by 2019. See “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2014-2019 White Paper”, May 27th, 2015 at http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/ip-ngn-ip-next-generation-network/white_paper_c11-481360.html , last accessed on 10/6/2015

[4]   Starting in this report, we now breakout AT&T’s U-Verse service from their other DSL services per their request (see Appendix A).

Starting in this report, Verizon now advertises a speed range for each tier of their DSL broadband service, rather than an “up-to” speed. This range is illustrated in charts as a shaded region indicating the advertised range.

[5]   In 2014, the acquisition of Qwest by CenturyLink resulted in CenturyLink offering a 40Mbps DSL-based broadband service subscribed to by a substantial number of its subscribers.

The September 2012 decline in Verizon’s maximum advertised DSL speed included in our survey largely derives from customer transitions from DSL to Verizon FIOS (fiber) service as well as Verizon’s sale of service territories to other carriers.

Frontier acquired a number of service territories from other ISPs in 2011 and again in November 2014. Consequently, in this Report we omit metrics for Frontier (DSL) for prior years as they as are not comparable.

[6]   The temporary drop in 2013 in Cablevision’s maximum advertised download speed is due to the exclusion of the 50 Mbps tier (by Cablevision’s request), which was replaced in 2014 by a 101 Mbps tier.

[7]   However, subscribers of 50Mbps or 100Mbps download speed tiers offered by cable broadband ISPs will only experience actual download speeds close to the advertised rates if they are using a DOCSIS 3 cable modem.

[8]   Where several technologies are plotted at the same point in the chart, this is identified as “Multiple Technologies”.

[9]   Of the 4,980 panelists who participated in the September 2013 collection of data, 4,014 panelists continued to participate in the September 2014 collection of data.

[10]   We do not attempt here to distinguish between these two cases.

[11]   It should be noted that the temporary drop in 2013 in Cablevision’s actual download speed was the result of the exclusion of its 50 Mbps tier (at the request of Cablevision) since it was transitioning this tier to the 101 Mbps tier.

[12]   These increases are calculated as weighted averages based on the number of participants. We did not include AT&T (DSL), Frontier (DSL), and CenturyLink in the calculated average for DSL for reasons explained in footnotes above.

[13]   We are comparing growth in actual consumer download speeds as opposed to the maximum speed tier offered by an ISP in our survey.

[14]   Because Verizon now advertises a range of download speeds for their DSL products, this chart shows the ratio of actual to advertised speed for Verizon (DSL) as a range with the lower end of the shaded bar corresponding to upper end of the advertised speed range and the upper end of the shaded bar corresponding to the lower end of the advertised speed range.

[15]   For this calculation and other averages across all participating ISPs, we use the midpoint of Verizon DSL’s advertised speed range.

[16] . Some video streaming and some cloud-based applications fit into this category, see e.g.   Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology 2013–2018 White Paper , available at http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/global-cloud-index-gci/Cloud_Index_White_Paper.html .

[17]   The 2014 Report also included Insight Communications, which is now merged with Time Warner Cable, and Qwest Communications, which is now merged with CenturyLink. Hughes Network Systems joined the program in 2014. ViaSat operates under the brand name Exede Internet.

[18]   The Form 477 results can be obtained from:   http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/form-477-filers-state-0 .

[19]   For this report, the measurements for the 100-105 Mbps download service tiers exclude measurements using the M-Lab measurement servers, due to a problem with the architecture of those servers that affected the higher speed tiers.

[20]   The period from September 17, 2014 to September 26, 2014 was omitted due to unusually high Internet traffic created by what we believe to be downloads of Apple’s iOS 8 operating system, per the FCC policy concerning the collection period for fixed-line MBA data (See the August 19, 2013 ex-parte letter for the meeting held August 7, 2013, http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7520939594 , and   http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/measuring-broadband-america-measuring-fixed-broadband .)

[21]   While the program’s methodology is not designed to produce an analysis at the state level in general, in the Appendix we provide statistics for those states for which we have statistically significant data.

[22]   Performance observed by a user may also depend on other factors, including the capabilities of their device and the performance of network devices within their home.

[23]   See International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Series G: Transmission Systems and Media, Digital Systems and Networks; International Telephone Connections and Circuits—General Recommendations on the Transmission Quality for an Entire International Telephone Connection, G.114 (May 2003).

[24]   The September 2014 data set was validated to remove anomalies that would have produced errors in the Report. This data validation process is described in the Technical Appendix.

[25]   The software that was used for the testing will be made available for academic and other researchers for non-commercial purposes. To apply for non-commercial review of the code, interested parties may contact SamKnows directly at   team@samknows.com , with the subject heading “Academic Code Review.”

[26]   In prior Reports, for each ratio of actual to advertised download speed on the horizontal axis, the CDF curves showed the percentage of measurements (not panelists subscribing to each ISP) that experienced at least this ratio. The methodology used in this Report, by panelists subscribing to each ISP, more accurately illustrated performance from the point of view of the consumer.

[27]   It is a property of DSL technology that actual speeds will vary widely within a geographic region. Thus the complementary cumulative distribution function will fall slowly, unless the broadband ISP’s advertised rate depends on the subscriber’s location.

[28]   This chart represents an unweighted average of advertised and actual speeds across all panelists in each region. As such, it should not be used to compare the performance of broadband providers. Results for technologies in some regions are excluded when there were not enough panelists to ensure statistically valid metrics.

[29]   For example, downloading a large file while browsing the web would limit   the effectiveness of burst technology.

[30]   The FCC does not have detailed information on which speed tiers employ burst speed technology. This chart shows the percent difference between the actual speed and burst speed tests. Large differences in these speeds can be inferred as the result of burst speed technology being employed.

[31] .  Industry Analysis and Technology Division Wireline Competition Bureau, Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2013, Report (rel. Oct. 2014),   https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-releases-new-data-internet-access-services-2   (Internet Access Report). Table 8 reproduces only the information for States and technologies included in Table 6 from Internet Access Report for connections by technology by state as of December 31, 2013 for connections over 200 kbps in at least one direction, in thousands. Data for satellite connections was withheld in the Internet Access Report to maintain firm confidentiality.


International Satellite & Antenna Service Blog

By John Pearce 28 Oct, 2017

Ocala, Florida, October 27, 2017 – DISH recently designated International Satellite & Antenna Service as a “Premier Local Retailer,” the company’s highest honor for businesses that demonstrate excellence in performance and customer experience.

 

Following a highly selective process, International Satellite & Antenna Service joins the top five percent of authorized DISH retailers in the Premier program. As a result, customers in Central Florida have a front-row seat to experience the latest products, announcements and offers available from DISH.

 

“International Satellite & Antenna Services truly tuned in to the needs and preferences of customers in the greater Ocala area, and we are proud to have them join our Premier program,” said Amir Ahmed, DISH senior vice president for Indirect Sales. “Premier Local Retailers are a crucial part of our business, serving as trusted partners who help us better serve our customers, together.”

 

“Our goal is to provide our customers with the best entertainment and home technology experience at the greatest value,” said John Pearce, President of International Satellite. “We could not have reached Premier Local Retailer status without the support and loyalty of our customers, and your voice will continue to be the most important as we partner with DISH to deliver the best experience possible.”

 

To learn more about International satellite & Antenna Service or to demo the latest offerings from DISH and Sling TV, visit www.newdish.tv .

 

About DISH

DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 13.528 million pay-TV subscribers, as of March 31, 2017, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. DISH offers a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com .

 

 

About [International Satellite & Antenna Service

International Satellite & Antenna Service is one of the Nation’s Oldest and Largest Satellite TV, Satellite Internet and HDTV Antenna Dealers.

Founded in 1983 by John Pearce, a pioneer in the direct to home satellite industry, International Satellite was among the first U.S. satellite companies recognized by the United States Department of Commerce for publication in Commercial News U.S.A.

International Satellite has received numerous awards and recognition from companies like DirecTV, Dish Network, WildBlue, Uniden and General Instrument for being one of the Nation’s Top Retailers. Recently, International Satellite & Antenna Service received the Ocala Star Banner’s Best of the Best, Voters Choice Award for 2017 in the IT division.

International Satellite & Antenna Service’s showroom is located 3 miles west of I-75 in State Road 200 in the Jasmine Plaza. Their phones are answered after hours by their on-duty technician 7 days a week/ 365 days a year.

 

For additional information about DSIH or International Satellite & Antenna Service contact John Pearce at 1-800-331-8295 or email isa@mfi.net

By John Pearce 28 Oct, 2017

100 Hours of Content Anywhere
The HopperGO can store up to 100 hours of content for offline viewing, allowing you to save space on your mobile device. 

Connect to All of Your Devices
The HopperGO can connect with up to 5 devices so your whole family can enjoy TV on the go. 

Built-In Battery
With its built-in battery, the HopperGO can last for 4 hours and is easily recharged through any USB port

By John Pearce 28 Oct, 2017

HughesNet Gen5 Delivers True FCC-Defined Broadband, Attracts New Customers In Every Continental U.S. State

Germantown, Md., June 5, 2017—Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) today announced its recently launched HughesNet Gen5 satellite Internet service has reached a major milestone in just two months – now serving more than 100,000 homes and small businesses, including both new subscribers and upgrades, and subscribers in every continental U.S. state have been connected to the service.

Launched in late March 2017, new customers to HughesNet Gen5 are experiencing faster speeds, more data, built-in Wi-Fi and an overall improved Internet experience. HughesNet Gen5 is the first and only U.S. satellite Internet service to offer Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defined broadband speeds – 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload – from coast-to-coast.

“The new HughesNet Gen5 is meeting the need for high-speed Internet in households and small businesses across the country – especially in areas underserved or unserved by ‘traditional’ wired Internet,” said Mike Cook, executive vice president at Hughes. “Everyone has the right to high- speed Internet access and Hughes is proud to bring fast, reliable Internet to all households coast-to-coast across America, no matter where they live or work.”

Early customer responses show they are enjoying higher satisfaction and improved performance from the new HughesNet Gen5 service. According to Joe K. from Illinois, “I’ve seen a big boost in performance with HughesNet Gen5, giving me the true broadband speeds I’ve wanted. The overall experience is just a lot better.”

HughesNet is America’s #1 choice for satellite Internet with more than one million subscribers nationwide. HughesNet Gen5 is available in a variety of affordable consumer and business plans to suit customer’s specific needs. Plans range from 10 to 250 GB/month of data with the same fast speeds of 25 Mbps on every plan. Additional features include: 

• Built-in Wi-Fi to easily connect wireless devices
• No hard data limits – if monthly plan data is exceeded, service continues at a reduced speed until the next billing cycle
• Video Data Saver to watch more videos using less data
• Bonus Zone – 50 GB of free data per month to use during off-peak hours (2 a.m. - 8 a.m.)

HughesNet Gen5, recently named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the Consumer Services category in the 15th annual American Business Awards, is available through a nationwide network of dealers and sales agents, as well as directly through www.HughesNet.com .

About Hughes Network Systems
Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in broadband satellite technology and services for home and office. Its flagship high-speed satellite Internet service is HughesNet®, the world’s largest satellite network with over 1 million residential and business customers across North America and Brazil. For large enterprises and governments, the company’s HughesON® managed network services provide complete connectivity solutions employing an optimized mix of satellite and terrestrial technologies. The JUPITER™ System is the world’s most widely deployed High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) platform, operating on more than 20 satellites by leading service providers, delivering a wide range of broadband enterprise, mobility and cellular backhaul applications. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 5.5 million terminals to customers in over 100 countries, representing over 50 percent market share, and its technology is powering broadband services to aircraft around the world.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes operates sales and support offices worldwide, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite operations. For additional information about Hughes, please visit www.hughes.com  and follow @Hughes_Corp  on Twitter.

About EchoStar
EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS) is a premier global provider of satellite communication solutions. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and conducting business around the globe, EchoStar is a pioneer in secure communications technologies through its Hughes Network Systems and EchoStar Satellite Services business segments. For more information, visit echostar.com . Follow @EchoStar  on Twitter.
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©2017 Hughes Network Systems, LLC, an EchoStar company. Hughes and HughesNet are registered trademarks and HughesON and JUPITER are trademarks of Hughes Network Systems, LLC.

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