When the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality regulations designed to keep ISPs in check and ensure that all internet traffic is treated equally, the argument was that consumers would ultimately be better off. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said as much on numerous occasions. Strangely, however, the FCC has not released a broadband speed report since Pai became chairman almost two years ago.
Prior to Pai becoming chairman in January 2017, the FCC had released broadband speed reports every year dating back to 2011. Those reports would compare advertised internet speeds with the actual speeds customers were getting. So why have the reports stop coming?
That's a good question, and it's one that Arstechnica has been trying to find an answer to without any success. Those speed reports were part of a Measuring Broadband America program that was implemented in 2011, and for more than three months Arstechnica has been trying to find out if the FCC is even still analyzing the program's data.
The measurement company the FCC used for the program said it's still active, that a new report is coming, and that it hopes the report will be ready by next month. However, that report goes to the FCC, not the public. Ars said it hasn't been able to get an answer from Pai's public relations office as to whether it plans to release the report, or any information at all.
"Whether the report is released is up to the FCC, and Chairman Pai's public relations office has ignored our questions about the program," Arstechnica writes.
Alex Salter, the CEO of the company the FCC uses for these reports, says there is "no particular reason" he can think of that would explain why the FCC didn't release the report in 2017. He also said there is a new report that is awaiting FCC approval, but that it's ultimately out of his control.
There's still time for the FCC to release a new report before Pai completes his second year as chairman, and hopefully it does. It's concerning that last year's report was never made public, and it's also troubling that the FCC is being so standoffish about the situation—Arstechnica even filed a Freedom for Information request for internal emails about the Measuring Broadband America program, but the FCC has repeatedly extended its self-imposed deadlines that provide that information, the site reports.
It's an interesting article. Unfortunately it raises more questions than it answers.