back to article FCC boss says he'll SHAME broadband firms for fibbing on speeds

Federal Communications Commission boss Tom Wheeler has said that he will issue written warnings to some US broadband carriers following an investigation that found some companies are still not delivering advertised speeds. Wheeler said that while the broadband market as a whole is doing a better job of offering users promised …


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  1. Efros


    As a broadband customer of Time Warner I can say that they're biggest issue in my experience is that the modems they give out are DOCSIS 2.0, get a few Netflix addicts on your branch and your 20MB/s dives to below 1MB/s which mine did every day between 5 and 9 pm. I sent their modem back and bought a DOCSIS 3.0 one and never had another issue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TWCable

      Great tip — if true — so thanks. Definitely worth checking out.

      1. Efros

        Re: TWCable

        Plus you don't get to pay their $6 a month rental for a 10 year old modem!

    2. StimuliC

      Re: TWCable

      Where I live the maximum service available is the 20Mbps but they blame it all on Adelphia and the poor infrastructure. Strangely enough it was TWC that did the installation of the infrastructure and boasted about upgrading it all and yet they use bait and switch tactics. They advertise '50Mbps' and '100Mbps' but when you click on them you get a message saying they are not available. In fact on average, according to friends that suffer from TWC Syndrome they are lucky to get dial up speeds during the evening.

      It's not Fibbing, it's outright blatant lying from the Cable Co's when they advertise. They don't even try and offer remotely decent service.

    3. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: TWCable

      Last year, Brighthouse announced two rate increases for the tier that I was getting.

      One was a small increase in the charge for the service; the other was the imposition of a new monthly modem rental fee, for a cheap piece of shit modem.

      I did the math, and figured out it was cheaper for me to get rid of their piece of shit modem, and replace it. When I checked their web page for 'supported modems', I noticed very few DOCSIS 3.0 modems were supported.

      Their piece of shit used to require many resets when it 'got confused', the DOCSIS 3.0 capable replacement has been rock solid. I went with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem right out of the gate, because I did not want ot have to replace it <whenever> BHN decided to force a 'consumer premises equipment' upgrade; and you know those corporate assholes would do it.

      BTW, BHN, fix your email issues yet??? Thank $DEITY I don't use your email servers, otherwise I would be shit out of luck. ( )

    4. stanimir

      Re: TWCable

      20MB/s is very solid, are you talking about Mbits? I have 6-8MB/s stable download and upload on 100MBit line, so I can't complain. 20MB/s would be indeed lavish.

      1. Efros

        Re: TWCable

        Yep Mbps, got carried away with the shift key.

  2. DougS Silver badge

    This seems kind of out of date, since they refer to Centurylink as Qwest in a number of results.

    I saw "Qwest"'s 20Mbps service shown as meeting that 100% of the time, but I noticed last year my 20/5 service had become 25/5.

    I'm not sure how useful this testing is, since it shows the effect of the speed boost that a lot of cable providers have, given that it shows numbers above 100% for many of them, but it only lasts for a short time. They need to do very long tests, to not only remove the effect of speed boost but also detect which ISPs start throttling long downloads.

    1. StimuliC

      Speeeeeed Boost?

      Oh you mean that 30 seconds of slightly increased speed that they demand a ransom of an extra $10 or so each month.

      A friend I had asked about it and said that they were getting it. I tried to explain that "Turbo Internet" from a cable company was a joke and that it was not really faster that an occasional 30 seconds of faster internet is not "Turbo" it is just a marketing scheme that makes them an extra 20% for nothing other than a word!

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Interesting omission and a question.

    Seems to be missing Charter Communications... hmm..

    I looked at the link and the data is from Sept. 2013. Seriously? How long does it take to compile this stuff?

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    A letter?

    Oh... STERNLY WORDED LETTER. I wonder how much weight that will carry with those looking at profits?

    1. RedneckMother

      Re: A letter?

      Oh? Oh no! Zute must have turned the Grail Light on! Oh, bad, bad zute - she must be spanked!

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Carrot and Stick

        A "sternly worded letter" from the FCC, on its surface, would impart about as much fear into the hearts and minds of the Verizon fat-asses as would a "sternly worded letter" from me. Without the appropriate warningthreat of sanctions, the FCC letter will be binned forthwith (costs $MONEY to process and respond to those things, you know.) So I wonder what incentives/threats would be included in such a letter that would cause said fat-asses to 1) respond to the letter, and 2) actually do something to stop lying to the public about their services?

        1. Bucky 2

          Re: Carrot and Stick

          Well, false advertising is already illegal, but I think that's handled by a different government agency. The FCC may only need to provide their information to the FTC, and let the FTC do the prosecution.

          Beyond that, if the FCC simply keeps their test results up-to-date and well-published, then the pressure of transparency would allow consumers to use that data and act on it--perhaps fleeing companies that provide poor service in favor of those that provide better service.

  5. mIRCat

    Don't let him near your baby.

    "As a result, I’ve directed FCC staff to write to the underperforming companies to ask why this happened and what they will do to solve this.”

    Spoken like a true dingo.

  6. StimuliC

    The message of the sternly worded letter will be...

    Do a "Scotty"! Advertise really low speeds and then provide higher than the advertised speed and nobody can complain. Just like Scotty would tell Kirk that it would take 3 hours to fix something that took a few minutes so that he was seen as a miracle worker!

    Meanwhile, as suggest by mIRCat "Keep that verminous piece of scum away from your children!"

  7. Mikel

    Mr. Cable

    He's not going to do anything.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Mr. Cable

      Mr. Cable

      He's not going to do anything.

      It may be better that way. He does things over here and a lot of people wish he'd stop.

  8. birdmun

    satellite is not broadband

    At least in the US we have crap for satellite options and very limited daily/monthly download allowances. The best you can do for satellite is label it high speed, but, broadband it will not likely ever be with the laws of physics being what they are.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And yet... while they can certainly provide the speeds advertised... if you stream you won't get even 2% of the advertised speed... A little suspect..

  10. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    Bell Aliant FibreOP 175Mbps

    SpeedTest says 175.04 Mbps.

    Once in a while "The Interweb" is slow, but I suspect that it is most often the distant server.

  11. BubbaGump

    Very seldom do we get the advertised speeds from the US cable companies. They have more excuses than I care to list. The US has the poorest performance and yet the highest prices for internet access, and now with net neutrality all but gone, the matter is going to get worse. The providers are careful to state "up to xMps" to cover their behinds. The incremental costs of higher speed access jumps up in price considerably. Now these parasites want to charge providers for fast lanes too. The providers will have to pass on the cost to the consumers who are already paying higher prices for faster speeds. It's a double whammy.

  12. Fatman Silver badge

    Speed tests....

    I chose to participate in the FCC's speed tests of broadband service providers, and I get a monthly 'report card' on the performance.

    Allow me to paste in the results for April and May of this year I have a 10/1Mbs tier.

    Broadband Report Card

    >From 1 Apr 2014 to 30 Apr 2014

    === Downstream throughput ===

    1.10Mbps Average

    0.90Mbps Min - 1pm, Tue, 29th Apr

    1.17Mbps Max - 1am, Sun, 6th Apr

    === Upstream throughput ===

    0.59Mbps Average

    0.52Mbps Min - 9pm, Tue, 8th Apr

    0.66Mbps Max - 9am, Sun, 6th Apr

    === Latency ===

    31.62ms Average

    13.34ms Min - 2am, Thu, 10th Apr

    602.45ms Max - 5pm, Tue, 22nd Apr

    === Packet Loss ===

    0.23% Average

    0.00% Min - 8am, Tue, 1st Apr

    89.90% Max - 1am, Mon, 14th Apr

    Broadband Report Card

    >From 1 May 2014 to 31 May 2014

    === Downstream throughput ===

    1.03Mbps Average

    0.49Mbps Min - 11am, Thu, 1st May

    1.14Mbps Max - 1pm, Sun, 25th May

    === Upstream throughput ===

    0.59Mbps Average

    0.55Mbps Min - 3pm, Fri, 2nd May

    0.65Mbps Max - 5am, Wed, 28th May

    === Latency ===

    31.70ms Average

    13.65ms Min - 7pm, Mon, 5th May

    105.48ms Max - 8pm, Thu, 29th May

    === Packet Loss ===

    0.04% Average

    0.00% Min - 12am, Thu, 1st May

    2.94% Max - 8pm, Thu, 29th May

    I haven't taken thew time to view the details of the underlying data, but it would be interesting to notice when the service quality does drop off.

  13. Dave Hilling

    I get 3Mb on TWC a lot of the time

    Too bad I pay for 20.....

  14. Andyb@B5

    Because of Marketing the whole speed thing is back to front. Instead of "up to" it should be "at least"

    Give us a SLA with a minimum guaranteed speed and recompense when it drops below that speed.

    If I was given the choice of up to 24Mb/s with a guaranteed 2Mb/s vs up to 16Mb/s with a guaranteed 8Mb/s I know I'd choose the latter.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AT&T UVerse

    My gf pays for 12Mbps service, which maxes out at about 8Mbps during non-peak hours, and sadly about 45Kbps during peak hours. Yes, we can't browse Reddit unless tethered to our phones. This is new service, and they've twice sent out techs to investigate. Both times, they showed up 1 hour later than the scheduled 4 hour window, without prior notice, without apology, and without even responding to "hey, I took the morning off from work for this, would you mind calling if you're going to be late next time?" I was ignored. The tech proceeded to tweak the wireless settings, even though I made clear the problem persisted even when plugged in. He also insisted we have a "direct line to the port" and there's "no such thing as peak/non-peak." So, what you're telling me is that I'm not experiencing what I'm experiencing? GFY.

    It's as if they know they're the only provider for our building.

  16. jnffarrell1

    Note to legal staff. Don't send that knee jerk threat to the FCC

    Past time for corporate shysters to get real about the fine print in their contracts with users.

    Fine print that enables 10x under delivery on services promised to consumers in the LARGE PRINT.

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