March 22, 2010

A Broadband Survey That Asks the Right Questions

Greetings. There's been considerable controversy -- including skepticism from yours truly regarding methodology -- related to the FCC's recently launched broadband performance self-testing regime (e.g. Why I'm Skeptical of the FCC's Call for User Broadband Testing and Amid Vendors' Finger-Pointing, FCC Says: "We Don't Endorse Our Broadband Speed Tests!).

But the FCC's moves in this regard do bring up some interesting questions -- such as just how satisfied are broadband Internet users with their Internet access service and ISPs? It's possible that many subscribers are far less (or far more!) comfortable with the value rendered by their ISPs than may be popularly assumed.

The FCC broadband tests didn't ask about such issues, so I will.

Under the auspices of my GCTIP project, I've set up a survey that asks a number of questions regarding typical consumer or business Internet broadband access services -- including key queries that the FCC chose not to make.

The GCTIP Broadband Survey asks what sort of Internet access service you have, the provisioned maximum speeds at your service level, and so on. If you've performed the FCC Broadband Tests, you can provide that data as well for comparison purposes. Perhaps most importantly, the survey asks about your satisfaction with your ISP, inquires regarding your feelings about ISP competition in your local area, and provides room for any other of your comments.

This is a self-selected survey of course (in the same way that the FCC broadband test project is consumer self-selected), so it will not have a basis for statistical rigor. On the other hand, I will promise up front not to use the results of the survey in any broadband planning proposals to Congress, and would not suggest that this data would have any value beyond helping observers get a feel for the range of situations, configurations, and feelings about ISP performance and value that participants in the survey choose to reveal. Naturally I will only report data from the survey participants in aggregate and summary form, without exposing any individually identifiable information that users might have (optionally) provided.

This survey is not limited to the United States. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you'll devote a few minutes to taking the GCTIP Broadband Survey.

Your consideration and participation is, as always, very much appreciated!


Posted by Lauren at March 22, 2010 10:01 AM | Permalink
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