Thursday, October 15, 2009

 

A fair and full review

BerkmanLast week's release of our report [ pdf, 944KB] on the state of broadband services in Canada has led to some interesting dialogue. As an aside, let me state that I was willing to tolerate some of the more juvenile name-calling in engaging some critics on Broadband Reports, but yesterday's use of Nazi metaphors crossed a line, making it very clear that my participation was not welcome.

I hope to be able to deal more completely with yesterday's release of a study [ pdf, 2.92MB] from Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society in a later posting.

That study was commissioned by the FCC in July with the following terms of reference:
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University will conduct an independent expert review of existing literature and studies about broadband deployment and usage throughout the world. This project will help inform the FCC’s efforts in developing the National Broadband Plan.
The report will be the subject of comments to the FCC over the next few months, helping to inform the FCC's National Broadband Plan.

Preliminary examination seems to indicate that many of the Harvard rankings appear to incorporate the same problematic data points from reports and measurement tools that we have already discussed, but I will reserve commentary until I have an opportunity for a more complete review of the 232 page report.

I noticed that the Harvard report speaks of the benefits of examining high rankings in one metric versus a lower than expected ranking under another metric.
Keeping an eye out for these kinds of discrepancies allows us to identify false “successes” and false “failures,” or be more precise about what aspects of a country's performance are worth learning for adoption, and which are worth learning for avoidance.
I agree that looking at such discrepancies are important, for these reasons, as well as to help detect errors in the data itself.

It was precisely such discrepancies that helped us immediately detect the errors in OECD's use of arbitrary advertised price and speed data.

It is not clear why the Harvard researchers did not explore their own discrepancies, such as its statement on page 111:
[Canada] does not appear in the rankings for prices of very high speeds, because there were no offerings of service speeds of 35Mbps or higher in Canada in September of 2008.
Contrast this with Videotron's 50Mbps service showing up 3 pages later in the chart on page 114. Had such flaws been detected in their data, would the same conclusions have been drawn about Canada's regulatory framework?

It isn't as though the researchers accepted the OECD data as delivered. Other obvious errors in the OECD data were detected and results were massaged to account for them, such as Slovak Republic reporting of FTTH on page 55. Considering the report was commissioned just 3 months ago, the task of scrubbing the data may have been too daunting.

The most rapid commentaries on the FCC-commissioned study came from folks eager to see how Canadian's measured up. Like checking out the pictures without reading the articles.

Who will give this latest report a fair and full review from a Canadian perspective?

Comments:
What thread was this in? This one?:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r23146713-Canadian-broadband-is-worldclass-ISPfunded-report~start=180

I've scoured this thread pages (from page 8-11) looking for this comment, and i can't find anything that says "Mark is a nazi" or anything like the alleged comment that was made yesterday. The only one that remotely comes "close" to this are the comments made by Users: Shikotee and Vomio (and that's streching it).

Was this in another thread> or were you PM'ed? Links please.

Oh and i look forward to having some time to read this new FCC report as well.
 
I didn't even know there was such a thing as 50 Mbps broadband. Here in British Columbia, Telus and Shaw call anything above 1 Mbps "High Speed". They both say their offering is up to 6 Mbps. I recently signed up for one of these providers' 6 Mbps connection, but I discovered, by using an online program that can determine the Internet speed I have, that my connection speed is just 1.5 Mbps. This is what we call "High Speed" in Vancouver area. And, Mr. Goldberg, you point to Videotron as having a whopping 50 Mbps. To my knowledge, Videotron doesn't exist outside of Quebec, New Brunswick and eastern Ontario. Harvard study points out that Canadians get lowest speeds and pay highest price for internet connection among the developed world. I have no choice but to agree with the study.
 
I didn't even know there was such a thing as 50 Mbps broadband. Here in British Columbia, Telus and Shaw call anything above 1 Mbps "High Speed". They both say their offering is up to 6 Mbps. I recently signed up for one of these providers' 6 Mbps connection, but I discovered, by using an online program that can determine the Internet speed I have, that my connection speed is just 1.5 Mbps. This is what we call "High Speed" in Vancouver area. And, Mr. Goldberg, you point to Videotron as having a whopping 50 Mbps. To my knowledge, Videotron doesn't exist outside of Quebec, New Brunswick and eastern Ontario. Harvard study points out that Canadians get lowest speeds and pay highest price for internet connection among the developed world. I have no choice but to agree with the study.
 
Actually, Shaw has had 25Mbps available for some time now and has just launched its 100Mbps service in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, adding these 3 cities to the 100Mbps Nitro that was already available in Victoria, Winnipeg and Saskatoon.

If you are only testing at 1.5Mbps, I suggest you call your ISP to find out what is going on. If they can't help, give me call.
 
http://forums.rogershelp.com/pun/viewtopic.php?id=749

Would i qualify for help? :P
 
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