Friday, February 6, 2015

FCC recognizes CA Mobile Testing & CalSPEED

We were happy see mention of our mobile testing results and our CalSPEED comparison with Ookla and the FCC's speed test app in the FCC's 2015 Broadband Progress Report and Notice of Inquiry (FCC-15-10):

"There is also evidence in the record of “a new, and growing, digital divide for mobile broadband – between urban, rural and Tribal demographics.”395 A study of data collected by CalSPEED concludes that the bulk of California’s mobile networks are not ready to support VoIP and that mobile broadband service for rural and Tribal areas in California is “materially less robust” in terms of “coverage, throughput, reliability, streaming media capability and wireless technology” than in urban areas." p. 66

"CPUC has found that its methodology yields more realistic results than the methodologies that the FCC and Ookla currently use.”). p. 41 

We are proud of the work by all who contributed to this effort, including those at the Commission, California State University Chico, California State University Monterey Bay, and the NTIA. The NTIA's State Broadband Initiative funded both mobile testing projects, which has paved a way for states to validate mobile broadband coverage. Rest assured that the program is continuing beyond the period of the grant, which ended January 31.

Monday, February 2, 2015

How Will New FCC Broadband Standard Affect Mobile "Served" Coverage?

At the end of January, the FCC adopted their 2015 Broadband Progress Report, which called for raising the broadband benchmark speed from 4 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream (referred to as "4/1") to 25/3. The study estimates that over half of all rural Americans lack access to these higher speeds.

We are beginning the analysis needed to estimate the change in "served" population using the FCC's standard.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Yolo County's Draft Strategic Broadband Plan Released!

After much anticipation, Yolo County's draft plan is now available to the public.

Recommendations are made for each of the County's four cities and for the county itself. They include (see report for more specifics on each one):

  • Adopt General Plan policies that incorporate broadband as a public utility and create a policy framework to promote its deployment in public and private projects as appropriate
  • Continue to develop broadband infrastructure to reduce internal costs, expand capabilities and protect against future cost increases
  • Develop a GIS-based map that identifies each city's locations that should be interconnected including the each city’s current infrastructure
  • Install conduit with all public projects
  • Expand each city’s capability in negotiating agreements for private providers to utilize each city’s infrastructure for public benefit
  • Coordinate with other local public agencies as potential users of each city’s infrastructure
  • Coordinate with broadband providers on specific broadband infrastructure projects in communities described in the Critical Unserved and Underserved Communities in Yolo County’s Community Profile
There is also a compressed file now available for download.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mobile Testing Findings Presented to California Broadband Council

On Tuesday, November 18 in San Francisco, Ken Biba, CTO and Co-founder of Novarum, presented recent findings from the past five rounds of mobile field testing to the California Broadband Council. His six key themes were:

  • Mobile broadband continues to get much better VERY quickly (on average)
  • There is a wide variation in mobile broadband performance across California
  • Not all carriers are equal
  • Mobile broadband service is not just wireless access
  • Real and growing mobile digital divide
  • The bulk of California’s mobile network is still not yet VoIP ready
  • Measured service substantially less than advertised
Here's one of his graphs, showing estimated VoIP readiness:

Round 6 Testing Finished!

Our testers completed the sixth round of mobile field testing this week, well before the Thanksgiving holidays. A big thanks to everyone who made this possible: Tyler, David, Darren, YoungJoon, Jason, and the testers at CSU Chico and CSU Northridge. Also, a big thank you to the Computer Science and Information Technology Department at CSU Monterey Bay for the app and server support. Great job!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Testers Go To the End of the Earth


Stories from the desert

Odd Thing On The Way to a Testing Location...

From Steve Crews:
"Just up the road from location 2022 was the strangest thing I've come across so far this round, the Rice Shoe Tree, which apparently used to be a real tree that people did this to, until it was burned down by vandals: