Amidst the release of a survey that shows 80% of U.S. broadband consumers are ignorant of their download speeds, the FCC said Tuesday it would recruit 10,000 volunteers for tests to assess residential broadband speeds and the extent to which those speeds correspond with the advertised claims of carriers. In a separate but related initiative, the agency also issued a public notice that seeks comment on the measurement of mobile wireless broadband speeds. Both efforts, said FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Chief Joel Gurin, are intended to give the FCC a clearer picture of how U.S. broadband networks actually perform as the agency begins to implement the National Broadband Plan. Published on Tuesday, the survey covers 3,005 broadband users who were polled by Abt SRBI, Inc. and Princeton Survey Research Associates between April 19 and May 2. Although four of five respondents confessed to being uncertain of the speed of their broadband connection, 71% of polled users expressed confidence that they were receiving download speeds as fast as those advertised by their broadband providers. A whopping 91% of broadband users also said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their residential service, whereas 71% of mobile smart phone users said they were similarly pleased with their wireless broadband service. Calling the survey results “striking,” Gurin asserted that “the big picture here is knowing what you’re paying for.” To help that picture come into focus, the FCC said it would partner with British testing firm SamKnows Limited to install equipment in 10,000 volunteer homes that would measure upload and download speeds and the impact of gaming, video, voice-over- Internet protocol and similar applications upon broadband performance, while taking into account factors such as old routers, PC memory and processor speeds. The FCC expects to issue test results later this year in its “State of Broadband” report. Parties will also have until July 1 to comment on a companion notice that seeks input on the best methods of measuring mobile broadband speeds, how speed measurements can be used to improve wireless broadband service, and what information carriers should convey to consumers about mobile broadband service speeds. Denying that the initiative represents a first step toward regulation of the wireless broadband sector, Gurin stressed: “what we are totally focused on now is measuring speed in a way that is helpful to consumers and the FCC.”