East Bay broadband report cards due on Monday

27 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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To late for the dog to eat it.

Tellus Venture Associates will be presenting the initial results of an in-depth analysis of broadband availability in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties at the East Bay Broadband Consortium’s quarterly meeting in Oakland tomorrow.

The research looked at literally hundreds of thousands of broadband availability reports submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission by Internet service providers. The data was initially broken into three categories: residential, commercial and mobile service.

Mobile and commercial broadband service availability was evaluated on a county by county basis. Overall, the results show generally good coverage for both types, although the area west of the Oakland/Berkeley hills was distinctly better than areas east and north. Specific gaps exist, which will be examined further.

The most extensive analysis was done on the residential data, which includes broadband availability reports from the major wireline carriers as well as competitive providers and rural companies. Data regarding adoption rates was also considered.

Residential availability in the counties was compared to statewide averages and then graded, census block by census block, on an A to F scale. Some surprising results came back, with some unexpectedly low grades for cities, and outstanding results for others.

One of the major findings of the study is competition matters. The best broadband service can be found in places that have benefited from a high degree of competition. The worst broadband service tends to be where competition is lacking.

The EBBC will release the initial findings following tomorrow’s presentation. I’ll post links to the material, and have some more specific things to say about it tomorrow afternoon.