ISPs now more truthful about broadband speeds

Posted by Emma Woollacott

ISPs are delivering broadband speeds closer to those they advertise, and in many cases are even exceeding their claims, says the FCC.

In its second report, it finds that they're hitting 96 percent of advertised speeds, with fiber companies actually over-performing at 117 percent of advertised speeds. DSL lags at the bottom, at just 84 percent.

Over the last year, Cablevision's shot from being the worst performer, at 54 percent of advertised speeds, to the joint best, at 120 percent. It's matched by Verizon's fiber service.

Combast boasts 103 percent of its advertised peak speed, and Mediacom is bang on the money with exactly 100 percent.

"The bottom line of this Report is that millions of Americans have better broadband performance this year than they did last year. This is good news for consumers and our economy," says FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.

"Faster broadband has brought untold benefits to millions of Americans—from distance learning to distance healthcare—from being able to see and hear loved ones thousands of miles away to being able to telecommute when roads are not safe to drive."

Two ISPs actually showed a decline in the last year - Frontier and Windstream - and Cox remained the same at 95 percent. Frontier was the poorest performer, at 79 percent.

But Genachowski says more needs to be done.

"To realize the full power of broadband’s potential, we must continue to see increases in broadband speed and capacity, and decreases in per gigabyte costs," he says.

"We cannot realize the immense potential economic benefits of cloud computing without broadband abundance — the ability to quickly and cheaply move large amounts of data through the internet.
What's at stake is our global competitiveness, and the power of innovation to create jobs."

The report was produced following the FCC's launch last year of a tool designed to allow consumers to record and report their actual broadband speeds, and includes more than a million such results. Next, the FCC plans to turn its attention to measuring mobile broadband speeds.