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FCC Seeks Comment on Broadband Information Needed by Users

The deadline for comments is May 26, 2011, and for reply comments, June 16, 2011.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on the information needed by broadband Internet users to make informed choices among competing broadband access services.

On April 20, 2011, the FCC posted a Federal Register notice—“The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on ‘Need for Speed’ Information for Consumers of Broadband Services”—seeking input on the information necessary for users to make informed choices among competing broadband Internet access services.

“According to the most recently available data, many consumers (users) lack information about their broadband connection’s performance and its ability to support different services and activities online,” the notice says. “The lack of such information hampers consumers’ ability to compare tiers of service offered by and among providers,” the notice says.

In addition, users “rely on Internet-based applications and services that place a wide range of demands on broadband network, and consumers’ experiences can be impacted by a broadband service’s speed, latency and jitter. The FCC “seeks comment on the service characteristics that consumers need to consider to determine broadband performance requirements and the most effective way to ensure consumers are informed about their broadband performance needs.”

The deadline for comments is May 26, 2011, and for reply comments, June 16, 2011. All comments need to include the docket number “CG Docket No. 09- 158”.

Comments can be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) website. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. For ECFS filers, in completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket number.

Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. They can be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service’s first-class or overnight mail; by hand or messenger delivery; or by commercial overnight courier.

The address to send comments by the U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20554.

The address to send comments by hand-delivery or messenger-delivery is FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street, SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, D.C. 20554. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building. The filing hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The address to send comments by commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) is 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, Md. 20743.

In addition, parties must serve one copy of each pleading with the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, or via e-mail to

For more information, contact Ellen Satterwhite, FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-3626 (voice), or e-mail at