Broadband: Who's Overdelivering and Who's Overpromising


The 13 Internet service providers included in the FCC’s “Measuring Broadband America” study released Tuesday now deliver actual download speeds within 20% of advertised speeds, with only “modest performance declines” during peak periods (see FCC Study: ISPs Improve Delivery On Advertised Speeds).

That’s much better than the FCC’s data from early 2009 — when the agency found actual download speeds lagged advertised speeds by roughly 50%.

But not all ISPs  are created equal, according to the FCC study.

Verizon’s FiOS was the clear leader, delivering 114% of promised download speeds during peak periods. Comcast also overdelivered during primetime and overall, while Cox and Charter topped 100% over a 24-hour period.

Meanwhile, Cablevision Systems was the big loser according to the FCC data — delivering less than 80% of promised speeds over a 24-hour period and less than 60% during peak periods (7-11 p.m. Monday-Friday).

Cablevision, in a statement, said: ”Cablevision delivers some of the fastest Internet connections in the country, on our basic tier, two higher levels of service and our Wi-Fi network and this report simply does not reflect the experience of our nearly 3 million broadband customers.” The MSO also noted that its high-speed Internet service has won top ratings in broader consumer surveys including those conducted by J.D. Power & Associates.

The data in the report is based on a statistically selected subset of approximately 6,800 individuals and the measurements taken in their homes during March 2011. The FCC enlisted U.K.-based analytics vendor SamKnows to administer the project.

Here is the table from the FCC report showing 24-hour and peak-period sustained download speeds:

On uploads, the FCC found there was little effect by peak loads. Cable delivered 198% of advertised upstream speeds, following fiber-to-the-home with 112% and DSL at 95%.

The full report is avaialble here; additional materials are available at the FCC’s Measuring Broadband America site.


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