Require ISPs provide more detailed Internet outage information/updates

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We have become dependent upon a working internet connection.  We watch TV and movies via a streaming internet connection.  We make voice and video calls using the internet.  We remotely monitor and control our homes using the internet.  Our kids do their homework using the internet.  Our businesses rely upon the internet.

Fast internet access has become a critical part of our daily lives.  As such, internet outages have an ever increasing impact on us.

Right now, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) don’t, but should, provide their customers with:

  • Reports showing number of outages and average duration of outages—we could have 50 outages a day averaging 10 seconds and we would never know it except for the fact that we would get frustrated thinking the website or resource we were accessing was slow;
  • Explanations for why an outage is occurring or has occurred.  Many outages are caused by physical issues—cut line, damaged/failing equipment, etc.—and we are never told what caused the outage;
  • Explanations for why very-slow internet speeds are occurring or have occurred.  Often this is caused by network congestion which overwhelms the network’s capacity or equipment failure; and
  • Reporting of service restoration estimate accuracy—a post-event report showing accuracy of estimated outage time compared with actual outage time.

Providing greater transparency into internet outages would provide the dual benefit of giving people a better understanding of the service they are receiving and would promote greater accountability on the part of the ISP.