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Commissioner Clyburn Statement FCC App to Test Broadband Performance

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Released: November 14, 2013



November 14, 2013

I applaud our staff's efforts to develop an application that will test and map, the speed, latency,
and other performance metrics of mobile broadband service on Android phones. I look forward to seeing
a similar app for iPhones. The percentage of our population, who rely on mobile service for their
personal communications needs, continues to grow and for those living below the poverty line that figure
is now estimated at 52 percent. This underscores why we must do all we can to ensure that these
consumers have accurate, relevant information needed to make informed choices. Knowledge about how
various mobile broadband providers compare, at specific locations in a geographic market, will aid them
in choosing the provider that best suits their needs.
Transparent information about service performance does not just enable consumers to select
among service offerings in a meaningful way. It also creates incentives for providers to improve those
services. The Commission's annual reports on residential ISP service were successful in doing just that.
The first such report in 2011, found that, during periods of peak demand, the average ISP,
delivered the download speed it advertised, only 87 percent of the time. By February 2013, the updated
report, found that this number, had risen to 97 percent. The detailed data this new mobile broadband app
will collect can help consumers verify whether they are receiving the mobile broadband speeds that
companies advertise and I hope it will also encourage providers to upgrade their mobile networks if
warranted and improve the quality of the services they offer.
I wish to commend the parties who helped the Commission staff develop the Measuring
Broadband America app for mobile broadband, which was made possible, through a partnership with
wireless carriers, academics, and other government agencies. Continued collaboration will also be
important as we develop a comprehensive report on mobile broadband performance.
Thank you.

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