The federal government has agreed to drop a request for sensitive revenue and Internet speed data from telecommunication providers. The information would have been for a program to map broadband use in U.S. homes and bring high-speed Internet service to more people.
The U.S. Commerce Department said that companies such as Verizon Communications Inc, Comcast Corp, and AT&T Inc do not have to share how much money they make from each Internet subscriber. Nor must they say how fast their Internet connections typically run.
Instead, they will provide data by the block, usually about a dozen homes depending on the size of the block. They also will share the speed of Internet service that they advertise.
Companies do not want to share the specific data because they do not want their competitors to see it.
However, critics of the Commerce Department's decision maintain that failing to make the data public allows the companies to advertise -- and charge for -- something that they often cannot deliver.