The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Entries in Broadband (2)


The State of US Internet Access: Mobile Connections Exploding

Twice a year, in June and December, the FCC publishes a report about the state of Internet access in the US. The report, which summarizes data collected by FCC Form 477 about connections in the United States (over 200 kilobits per second in at least one direction), creates a visual picture of the speed and access rates across the country in a series of detailed graphs, charts and maps. And while it does not provide a great deal of analysis (ok, none really, at all), it does offer a strong view of the trends in digital consumption. The introduction summarizes a few key takeaways:

Notable developments between June 2012 and June 2013 include:

Internet connections overall are growing. The number of connections over 200 kbps in at least one direction increased by 13% year-over-year to 276 million.

In June 2013, there were 70 million fixed and 93 million mobile connections with download speeds at or above 3 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds at or above 768 kbps as compared to 57 million fixed and 43 million mobile connections a year earlier. 

The report details a number of interesting data points around mobile, notably that fact that many consumers are able to experience reasonable broadband speeds from their mobile devices, leading to a whopping 62.5% of residential connections via mobile wireless.

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Internet Access Services: Status as of June 30, 2013As a product designer,  I see this as a huge proof point for the importance of a mobile-first design strategy for any digital brand.  


Will Google TV Change The Way We Enjoy the Web?

Article first published as Will Google TV Change The Way You Enjoy The Web? on Technorati

Google’s announcement this week of the launch of its Google TV service comes after several attempts - and slightly different approaches - by Apple and Microsoft to converge online video viewing with broadcast television watching. Although the company identified several partners – Intel, Sony and Logitech - who will be deploying the Google TV service on set top boxes and home entertainment hardware like Blu Ray players and Internet-connected televisions, it remains to be seen how consumers will actually experience the service.

Google’s primary objective will be to monetize the Google TV content through targeted advertising and expansion of its audience for existing online services by making video more discoverable through search. Search has been a key component of online programming guides like and Yahoo TV, that help aggregate television and video content from across the web. However, search behemoth Google is also the owner of You Tube, and has a lot to gain from creating more opportunities for consumers to experience video on new platforms.

How Google will facilitate the way a consumer traverses media from different sources, and the many ad networks those sources represent, is unclear largely because the service will be embedded with other solutions and services on branded game consoles and DVD players, some provided by hardware manufacturers that may have a designed a brand user interface already.

“It's too early to tell how Google TV will be received in the market, and there are many unknowns about the product including price. But Google TV's openness is key,” said Mike Pohl, CEO of Jinni, one of the Google TV partners featured in the announcement. “Developers will create the apps that will make Google TV useful and unique for consumers. Jinni, as an alliance partner, is developing a smart guide for Google TV that will be crucial for seamlessly combining web and TV content."

Clayton Morris of echoed the questions of many end users who heard the announcement but didn’t yet know what to make of it. He wrote, “Will Google TV allow me to press play on an Internet episode of Lost — or will it force me to watch the broadcast version with more commercials? [Or] does that mean I can simultaneously watch UFO Hunters on The History Channel while searching the Web?”