This week kicks off the ARRA grant-funded drive testing project being performed by the CPUC's Video Franchising/Broadband Deployment group. Every six months through 2014, we will be sending teams to drive around the state and measure the actual mobile broadband service of the big four providers, both with smartphones and laptop data cards. We’re testing at the same designated 1200 points for each test. These results will help determine the areas of the state that are un-served or under-served by broadband service, and thus eligible for CASF and various federal broadband infrastructure grants and subsidies. Our results will also demonstrate the extent to which mobile broadband service is a substitute for wired service.
The following will give you an idea of the scope and nature of the project. This map shows progress on day 1, which was Monday. We expect each round of tests to take as long as a month to complete. Analysis of the results could take an additional month.
As the photos taken just before noon today show, we’re indeed capturing mobile service statistics in some pretty rural areas!