Internet service providers take your money and promise to send you speeding along an information superhighway, dangling the carrot of fast connection times to get your business. And according to an annual report card by the Federal Communications Commission, while Verizon and Cablevision are the leaders in providing advertised speeds, it seems most ISPs are getting better at being more consistent on delivering the goods as well.
The top 13 U.S. broadband providers, which account for about four-fifths of all U.S. landline broadband connections, are coming way closer to consistently giving customers the speeds they expect, said the FCC in its report. Speeds on average are within 90% of what they promote, which is a major boost from last year’s 80%, reports Reuters.
So why the improvement? The FCC says it’s because companies have been investing in and upgrading their broadband networks instead of adjusting advertised speeds downward in order to have an easier time delivering on those speeds.
Meanwhile, customers are subscribing to faster speeds and actually experiencing speeds almost 38% faster than a year ago. Which is helpful, because we’re spending more time online and using more data to do things like stream video.
Verizon’s fiber network, Cablevision, Comcast, Mediacom Communications and Charter Communications all did a great job of delivering almost 100% or greater of the speed advertised even during peak hours. A big change for Cablevision, which came in dead last in the previous report, delivering just 54% of its advertised speed.
This year’s worst performer was Frontier Communications, but even it delivered 79% of its promised speed. And there’s still work to be done, says the FCC.
“To realize the full power of broadband’s potential, we must continue to see increases in broadband speed and capacity and decreases in per gigabit costs,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said.
Here’s how the ISPs stand, ranked by a percentage of advertised speed: Verizon’s fiber network (120%), Cablevision (120%), Comcast (103%), Mediacom (100%), Charter (98%), Time Warner Cable Inc. (96%), Cox Communications (95%), Insight Communications Co. (92%), CenturyLink Inc. (89%), AT&T Inc. (87%), Verizon’s DSL network (87%), Windstream Corp. (84%), Qwest Communications (83%) and Frontier (79%).