Boost for US IPTV as broadband proliferates across country | Online Video | News | Rapid TV News
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In what could be the basis of a spur to online video, US broadcast and telecoms regulator the FCC has revealed a significant increase in broadband speeds offered to consumers in the country.

The regulator’s fifth Measuring Broadband America report — an ongoing nationwide performance study of consumers’ fixed broadband Internet access services — showed that broadband speed offerings to the average consumer continue to increase at a rapid pace, and broadband service providers generally are delivering actual speeds that meet or exceed advertised speeds.

Averaged across all participating ISPs, maximum advertised speeds increased from 37.2Mbps in September 2013 to 72Mbps in September 2014 – an increase of 94%. Largely driven by the deployment of enabling technologies such as DOCSIS 3, the maximum advertised download speeds offered by ISPs using cable systems increased from 12-20Mbps in March 2011 to 50-105Mbps in September 2014.

However, the FCC warns that such results are not uniform across technologies and that there was a growing disparity in advertised download speeds between many DSL-based broadband services and most cable- and fibre-based broadband services. For example, popular maximum DSL speed offerings have not kept up with that growth. While average DSL consumer speeds have increased, popular maximum DSL speed offerings have stayed largely stagnant since 2011, with most DSL providers offering maximum download rates of 12Mbps or less.

The survey also found that actual speeds experienced by most ISPs’ subscribers were found to be close to or exceed advertised speeds. Indeed, it showed that all ISPs using cable, fibre or satellite technologies advertised speeds for services that were on average close to or below the actual speeds experienced by their subscribers. However, some DSL providers continue to advertise speeds that on average exceed actual speeds.

Looking at an issue that could have serious ramifications for those attempting to offer IPTV and over-the-top (OTT) video services, the report found marked variation in broadband latency and packet loss by technologies. Consumers generally experienced low latency on DSL, cable and fibre systems, and low packet loss – the percentage of packets that are sent by the source but not received by the destination – on cable, satellite and fibre systems. The FCC noted that the moderate packet loss experienced by a few DSL providers could affect the perceived quality of video streaming.