Last week, CenturyLink told the FCC that they were concerned with how the FCC plans to collect information about service providers’ broadband performance via their Measuring Broadband America (MBA) program.
In particular, CenturyLink said in an FCC filing that it wants clarity on how Measurement Lab servers collect information on the quality of its DSL connections.” CenturyLink explained that it continues to have some concerns about the program, including the reliability of data from Measurement Lab servers and test sampling that understates the quality of DSL providers’ service,” CenturyLink said in an FCC filing.– FierceTelecom
The concern by CenturyLink is legitimate. But since when did CenturyLink suddenly begin to care about the quality of broadband tools?
In 2013, CenturyLink began imposing strict data caps on all broadband customers. Those who went over their caps received warnings and were pushed to upgrade their packages.
Unfortunately for those customers, CenturyLink’s data meters were a complete mess. Some customers reported that they never received any warnings even after they downloaded much more than their data cap allowance. Other customers reported that they barely used the internet during a month’s time and got a warning from CenturyLink for going over their data caps. Since CenturyLink didn’t allow customers to check on their monthly usage, those customers had no way of actually determining whether CenturyLink’s tools were accurate or not.
Years earlier, Qwest (which was bought out by CenturyLink) kicked users off their service for “excessive use” without telling customers what the “excessive” line was….or how Qwest determined the accuracy of the usage numbers.
It isn’t as if CenturyLink is alone. ISP’s have pretty much all failed miserably over the last decade implementing accurate data meters. For example, one Comcast customer was told that he used somehow used up 13 GB during the first three minutes of his new billing cycle. Suddenlink’s usage meters have been openly failing for months and yet nobody has bothered to fix them. Cox has also been having significant issues measuring what a customer is actually using data wise.
Sadly, customers have paid for these inaccurate meters by paying significant overages for data they didn’t actually use.