Broadband project methodology

July 7, 2011

Project director John Dunbar and researcher Mia Steinle spent four months investigating broadband adoption rates in the Washington, D.C., area. Here's how they did it.

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Previous Stories

Culture, income, location affect broadband adoption in Washington region

July 7, 2011

People who live in the Washington, D.C., region are pretty well connected when it comes to high-speed Internet service — but there are still large swaths of the population that are unwilling or too financially strapped to plug in.

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Industry-friendly subcommittee delivers for telecom firms

April 6, 2011

A House panel that voted to "disapprove" the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules has collected contributions from broadband and wireless providers — more than a million dollars over the last two years. 

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Wealthy suburbs get best broadband deals; D.C., rural areas lag behind

Feb. 18, 2011

People who live in low-income areas of the District of Columbia on average get less for their broadband dollar than those who live in the wealthy suburbs — and subscribers in rural areas get the worst deals of all, according to a new study in which we analyzed customer speed tests and surveys.

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TV, Internet and The Merger: What's best for consumers?

Jan. 4, 2011

If Comcast and NBC Universal combine — and the FCC has recommended conditional approval — the new company will be able to play a major role in shaping the future of Internet TV competition.

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Digital technology could save radio – is anyone listening?

July 14, 2010

Only 14 percent of U.S. radio stations have gone digital, despite the fact it has been nearly eight years since the government approved the technology, according to an Investigative Reporting Workshop analysis. (Find digital radio stations by area here).

What’s more, the number of stations making the switch is actually decreasing, according to one report.

Digital radio draws only about 650,000 of 239 million weekly radio listeners – about three-tenths of 1 percent – according to a report by Bridge Ratings released in December.

Unlike with television, Congress did not mandate a switch to all-digital signals and many cash-strapped radio stations are reluctant to pay the expensive equipment and licensing fees required to go digital – despite the fact the technology represents a new revenue source for the industry.

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Comcast lures former FCC aides to lobby for NBC merger

May 26, 2010

Comcast has 54 ex-government employees who are now lobbyists working to get the company's merger with NBC-Universal approved. It also employs former legal advisers who worked for two FCC commissioners who were the government's most vocal opponents of media mergers.

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Industry lobbying keeps public in the dark about broadband

March 12, 2010

For more than a decade, the broadband and wireless industry has fought off attempts to let the government collect such details as price and access speeds about consumers’ Internet service. Now, the Federal Communications Commission is set to release a national broadband plan and regulators will try again to force more information about the "digital divide" into the open in an effort to help consumers.

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Ready, fire, aim: Public broadband grants wait for no plan

Oct. 2, 2009

In the real world, planning usually dictates spending. But in Washington, that’s not always the case. The government's expected to spend $7.2 billion on grants to increase broadband access despite the fact that a national map showing where the help is needed most won't be done till next year.

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More on DC broadband – Promised versus delivered speeds

Connection speeds are surprisingly good, but not great, in the U.S., ranking the nation in 11th place. Even more surprising: the U.S. is outranked by the Republic of Moldova, Russia and Slovakia.

District pays a lot per broadband bit

Washingtonians get less bang for their broadband buck than every state in the nation except Alaska, according to a survey released Tuesday.

District subscribers don’t pay much per month ($43.72, fifth when compared to the 50 states) but when you add connection speeds to the equation, it’s a different story.

All Internet is equal – except when it’s not

The public is best served when competitors are tearing at one another's throats. Any agreement between business foes Verizon Communications and Google should raise a red flag for anyone concerned with the public interest.

Lots of Internet competition – just not at home

At first glance, the broadband market in the nation's capital appears to be pretty competitive. But a closer look reveals what DC residents already know - most folks are lucky if they have three to choose from.