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Consumer Bureau Seeks Comment on Broadband 'Need for Speed'

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Released: April 11, 2011

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

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Washington, D. C. 20554

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

For Immediate Release: News Media Contact:
April 11, 2011 Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0511

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Wants to Hear What Information Would Be Most
Helpful to Consumers
Washington, DC -- The FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) has issued a
Public Notice asking for comments on the kinds of "need for speed" information that will be
most useful to consumers in choosing their Internet service.
"The marketplace for broadband service is a confusing one for consumers," says CGB Bureau
Chief Joel Gurin. "Most people don't understand megabits-per-second in the way they
understand miles-per-gallon." Gurin notes that an FCC Survey last year found that 80 percent of
people with broadband don't even know what speed they're getting from their service.
"Broadband service providers recognize the problem, and have taken some good steps to educate
consumers," says Gurin. "This Public Notice will provide a way for internet service providers,
the tech community, and the public to help develop clear guidelines that will help everyone
understand how to get the service they need."
In the Public Notice, CGB notes that consumers may have very different needs for broadband
service depending on what they use it for. Someone who uses the Web primarily for email, for
example, may be well served by a smaller and less expensive service than an avid video viewer
would need. Others, such as online gamers, may be especially concerned about factors like signal
The Public Notice
recognizes the importance of collecting input from a broad range of stakeholders on broadband
speed and performance. The Bureau also says that this Notice builds on the work of a voluntary
group of service providers and consumer groups that have met with the Commission to help
guide the FCC's national testing of broadband speed and performance.
Comments are due May 26, 2011 and replies June 16, 2011.
CG Docket 09-158
CGB contact: Ellen Satterwhite at (202) 418-3626;

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