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Consumer Groups Blame FCC For U.S. Broadband Drop

A congressional committee hears complaints that the FCC has abandoned its mandate to bring true high-speed broadband service to every American household

As U.S. broadband penetration continues its relentless drop among the world's industrialized nations, one reason the problem is becoming ever more critical is that the Federal Communications Commission doesn't even have accurate figures on the growing crisis, a consumer advocate told a congressional committee Thursday.

Addressing what he calls the FCC's failure to effectively collect data on U.S. broadband deployment, S. Derek Turner, research director at the Free Press consumer advocacy organization, urged the FCC Thursday to collect more accurate data on broadband deployment.

"The Federal Communications Commission has abandoned its Congressional mandate to bring true high-speed broadband service to every American household," said Turner. "Until the Commission recognizes the reality of the broadband problem, consumers will only be able to purchase high-priced, slow-speed Internet connections that aren't worthy of being called broadband."

The hearings are being conducted in the wake of recent findings that U.S. broadband penetration recently dropped from 12th to 15th place.

Another speaker at the hearing of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Free Press policy director Ben Scott said it is impossible to effectively evaluate broadband problems that haven't been measured.

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