It’s a question that’s been plaguing internet providers and cable companies alike for months.
And now, it’s getting a big answer.
The Federal Communications Commission has set an October deadline for internet service providers to get more transparency about what’s happening to their customers’ data.
But it’s also setting a deadline for the companies to offer more detail about the way they’re throttling the speed of customers’ internet connections.
The FCC is expected to release its latest report on internet service quality in October.
But the commission hasn’t released any of the reports it’s been collecting in recent months, and it has asked companies to keep all the information confidential.
That means the FCC can’t release any data on how internet providers are throttling speeds to keep them from reaching their customers.
So for now, the FCC has decided to keep its report under wraps until October.
The FCC has been studying the problem since the FCC launched a public-comment period in October 2014.
The FCC wants to make sure the public knows what’s really going on, and how internet service companies are throttled.
“We don’t want to be the agency that is creating these myths about what is happening to internet providers,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told NPR last week.
“It’s just not our goal.”
The FCC recently sent a letter to internet service firms asking them to provide the FCC with a detailed list of the speeds throttled to the ISPs by their internet service partners.
The commission has asked internet providers to provide more information about how they’re collecting data on internet users’ internet use.
In its letter, the commission noted that internet service speeds are subject to the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, which prohibit blocking and throttling.
Wheeler also said that he’s concerned that ISPs are trying to use their control of the internet to slow down competition.
“While the Internet is the lifeblood of our economy, we must protect it from any outside interference,” Wheeler said in his letter.
“The FCC will work with industry and other stakeholders to find common ground on this important issue, and will be open to discussing alternative solutions if that is not possible.”
But internet service ISPs aren’t interested in helping the FCC out.
The companies say they want the information that will help them understand what’s going on with their customers so that they can provide customers with more reliable and faster internet.
The industry wants the FCC to be able to make informed decisions on how to protect their customers from internet service problems.
“If you want to tell us what’s the true extent of what’s happened to our speeds, then we can do that,” said Brian L. Brown, a senior vice president at Comcast, in an interview with NPR.
“But we don’t think that’s the purpose of the [public-comment] period.”
Brown, who’s also a partner at law firm DLA Piper, said he wants to know what the FCC is doing to understand what he described as the “pervasive problem” of ISPs throttling speed to keep people from connecting to their websites.
“Our customers expect more from us,” Brown said.
“They want to know why our speeds are dropping.
They want to understand how we’re managing that.”
But Comcast and other internet service corporations are refusing to share the data that Wheeler’s letter requests, which is why the FCC isn’t asking internet providers for any of it.
“This is a private company and the FCC doesn’t have access to that data,” Brown told NPR.
Brown said he was told by the FCC that the data the ISPs would be providing to the commission would only include what they said is the actual data that they have about their customers, and that the FCC will release that data later.
“The problem here is that they’ve got their own set of rules and they don’t like the way that the market is structured,” said Jennifer Palmieri, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a tech-focused advocacy group.
“That data has to be released to the public.”
“This is an issue of public interest,” Palmieri said.
If the data doesn’t exist, she said, “then that information is going to be useless.”
The problem of internet throttling is a big one for ISPs, because it affects all of us.
Consumers are losing access to the internet and other services when their data is throttled or their speeds slowed.
In the last year, ISPs have been under fire for throttled speeds to prevent Netflix from streaming online.
And the FCC wants more data from ISPs to make its decisions.
But so far, the companies haven’t been willing to share any of that data.
The biggest problem for ISPs is that it affects the very people who are using their networks.
For example, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that people who use the internet for work are twice as likely to use a home broadband connection than people who don’t.
That’s because the companies are trying, in part, to protect themselves.
The companies have been trying to make internet speeds more