Speed Measuring Debate

James Assey comments on the comScore data used in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan to draw conclusions about Internet Service Provider (ISP) performance. His conclusion …

The point here is not to pick on comScore or the FCC. We fully agree that consumers need some way to assess performance, so that they can choose from among providers in the marketplace. The cable industry has indicated many times that we are eager to work with the FCC and other interested parties to develop such measurement tools for “on network” performance that provide consumers with meaningful data.

But, at the same time, we also ought to insist that speed data measuring “user experience” across the Internet be accompanied by appropriate disclaimers and educational qualifiers, so that consumers can know exactly what is being measured. And ISPs certainly should not be held responsible for allegedly failing to meet the maximum speeds advertised for particular service tiers because of factors outside their control.

We may not reach perfection, but by working together with industry, consumer groups, and policymakers, the cable industry is confident that we can improve on the accuracy, clarity, and transparency of speed data used today, and achieve a true “measure” of success.