Seriously, FCC, Get a Move On

Stacey pinged me and pointed to this report about the state of Internet Access Services (pdf) issued by the Federal Communications Commission. It has a lot of fascinating data, but the problem is that the report has data that is 14 months old, which makes it pretty much worthless.

Sure, government officials and politicians may use the data, but who really cares if there were 71 million fixed broadband connections at the end of June, 2009? Likewise, the fact that nearly 41 million folks used cable broadband that long ago is pretty much worthless.

I’m not sure why the FCC even bothers to collect this data if it can’t release it sooner. It’s nice to have the data, but it’s just not useful so late in the game. The only place where 14-month old stats make any sense is in a baseball fantasy league. Yup, those stats made me pick Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett  for my 2010 fantasy team. Fat lot of good that did.

If FCC wants to build a case for better broadband, I personally feel that they should try to collect data faster and deliver it faster than any research firm. Otherwise, they should outsource to commercial research companies that can do the job faster. Why not use that information? Unless I’m missing a big point, it seems there isn’t that much of a variation: The FCC says at the end of the second quarter of 2009 there were 71 million broadband subscribers. Research from Leichtman Research Group, which doesn’t include satellite, Internet connections puts the number at around 70 million.

PS: In case you want to know, at the end of June 2010, there were about 73.5 million broadband subscribers, according to the Leichtman Research Group.

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