Assessing Broadband Reliability: Measurement and Policy Challenges

Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC), 2011

38 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2012

See all articles by William Lehr

William Lehr

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

Mikko Heikkinen

Aalto University - Department of Communication

David D. Clark

MIT CSAIL

Steven Bauer

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS)

Date Written: September 24, 2011

Abstract

With broadband availability now approaching universal service in the United States, the focus on broadband metrics is shifting toward the assessment of broadband performance. The initial focus has been on the measurement and reporting of the speeds achieved by broadband services. As we develop more comprehensive and, hopefully, more meaningful frameworks for characterizing, measuring, and evaluating broadband performance, one obvious measure of merit will be reliability. In a survey, consumers identified concerns about reliability as second only to speed in importance. Moreover, as our collective reliance on broadband as critical socio-economic infrastructure increases, and as a growing range of services move into the Internet, it is reasonable to expect that demand for reliable broadband service will increase. At the same time, the growth of streaming and interactive rich multimedia, the convergence of fixed and mobile services, and the evolution of the Internet services industry pose new challenges for developing appropriate reliability metrics. While the measurement of broadband availability or speeds and the appropriate interpretation of measurement data are not simple tasks, evaluating reliability is inherently much more complex and difficult.

Suggested Citation

Lehr, William and Heikkinen, Mikko and Clark, David D. and Bauer, Steven, Assessing Broadband Reliability: Measurement and Policy Challenges (September 24, 2011). Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC), 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1979746

William Lehr (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) ( email )

Stata Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Mikko Heikkinen

Aalto University - Department of Communication ( email )

P.O.Box 13000
Aalto, 00076
Finland

David D. Clark

MIT CSAIL ( email )

Stata Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6003 (Phone)

Steven Bauer

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) ( email )

United States

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