Examining Mobile Broadband Transparency
34 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2019 Last revised: 9 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 26, 2019
The 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order eliminated a number of transparency requirements regarding broadband performance that were introduced in the 2015 Open Internet Order. It also eliminated guidance that had been provided in 2016 to assist broadband providers in complying with the transparency rule. In this paper, we examine a number of policy issues that arose in the two Orders and associated guidance, as applied to disclosure of performance of mobile broadband service. We ground this analysis in two datasets of mobile broadband performance.
We examine policy issues about the methodology used to measure mobile broadband performance, the performance statistics that should be measured and disclosed, and the time of day over which broadband performance is measured. We compare the download and upload speed ranges advertised by the largest four mobile broadband service providers in the United States with the distribution of actual measured download and upload speeds. We also analyze the variation of mobile broadband performance over different geographical regions.
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