Microsoft Slams FCC for Inaccurate Measures of Broadband Availability

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Microsoft hit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with a filing last week claiming that the Commission has overstated actual broadband availability in the United States and should do better to address coverage gaps.

In comparing the FCC’s broadband availability data with its own usage data, Microsoft found that there isn’t widespread, accessible broadband in the United States, a claim the FCC has made.

“[I]n some areas the Commission’s broadband availability data suggests that Internet Service Providers (“ISP”) have reporter significant broadband availability (25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up) while Microsoft’s usage data indicates that only a small percentage of consumers actually access the Internet at broadband speeds in those areas,” the filing said.

Although Microsoft acknowledged that broadband usage and availability aren’t equivalent, it also stated that usage data provides a foundation for progressing broadband accessibility and adoption.

To more accurately measure broadband availability, Microsoft argued, the FCC should draw from its subscription data and work with private-sector entities, like Microsoft, to examine their datasets as well. Microsoft also argued that the FCC should modify its survey instructions to narrow down responses to find where broadband is actually being used rather than where it could be used.

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