USTelecom – The Broadband Association (USTelecom) is pleased to offer these comments in response to the Notice published by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) in the Federal Register, Vol. 82, No. 5, January 9, 2017, seeking input on the Computer and Internet Use Supplement (“Supplement”) to the November 2017 Current Population Survey (“CPS”). The comments below also refer to the draft survey instrument (“Draft”) available from the NTIA web site at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/november_2017_cps_supplement_draft_for_public_comment.pdf, which we last retrieved on March 7, 2017.
USTelecom last filed CPS-related comments in June 2012 in anticipation of the October 2012 CPS. We are grateful that NTIA took into consideration many of the comments we offered in 2012 and we appreciate the opportunity to offer comments in anticipation of the upcoming November 2017 Supplement to the CPS. As in 2012, we commend the Census Bureau (“Census”) and NTIA for collecting information about Internet adoption and usage through the CPS and the Supplement. Data provided through these surveys remain useful in tracking the status of Internet and broadband adoption and non-adoption. Furthermore, the ability to leverage the large Census sample has enabled policymakers and stakeholders to segment and cross-tabulate the data for a range of demographic groups to understand variations in adoption patterns.
USTelecom recognizes that there is a wide range of potential topics and questions that the Supplement might address, including many with important ongoing economic and policy implications. We also understand that Census is constrained by policy considerations, survey format, time and space limitations, and the need for consistency with prior surveys. Therefore, we offer these comments to assist Census and NTIA in identifying and prioritizing topics for inclusion in the Supplement while balancing the objectives of gaining useful insights and efficient survey design.
We offer these comments and suggestions for consideration in the 2017 Supplement and in future versions. We present our comments in roughly the same order as the questions appear in the Draft. This does not necessarily reflect the importance we place on the different comments. We place the greatest importance on the issues of competition, inclusion of all relevant technologies, mobile substitution for fixed broadband, Internet video, and survey frequency. Thank you again for the opportunity to comment in this proceeding. We hope you find our comments helpful.