Internet Service Providers provide data that results from census blocks to the FCC. The FCC currently does not collect data about the rates at which internet subscribers pay. A new report by the Berkman Klein Center explains the prices that subscribers pay. The report also analyzes trends from companies nationwide along with publicly owned municipal networks. The report Community-Owned Fiber Networks: Value Leaders in America backs up the data that has been collectively acknowledged—that municipal publicly owned networks offer the best value for communities.
Most of the comparisons shown in the report are of national providers offering service in markets, but there are only a few places where independent companies advertise services that are similar to publicly owned network services.
The report also investigates large cable providers’ rates and terms which remain far from consistent nationwide. The report shows that cable companies offer a range of prices as opposed to a set price which leaves consumers confused about what they are actually paying. The report also uncovered that there are “teaser rates” that includes a price increase after 12 months. Discounted rates are also offered as a result of paperless billing and auto payments.
The report offered numerous suggestions presented by large corporations on how to prevent these inconsistencies nationwide. They recommend that the “FCC alters its data collection method from block level to street-address level,” which would result in a more accurate view of broadband access throughout the nation. They also suggest that ISPs provide information on the prices that subscribers pay.
Ultimately, these municipal networks need more support. Stay up-to-date with current happenings throughout the country regarding the ongoing battle between broadband networks and large corporations.