Cable Broadband Tops DSL On Customer-Sat Survey

AT&T, Cox, Bright House and WOW Top J.D. Power’s Regional ISP Rankings

Cable broadband users rank their service above DSL for performance and reliability, although fiber-optic providers score even higher, according to J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 residential ISP customer-satisfaction survey.

Overall, MSOs took the top spots in the four regions on the J.D. Power study: Cox Communications in the West (followed by AT&T and Verizon); Bright House Networks in the South (closely followed by Cox and the two telcos); and WideOpenWest in North Central. AT&T scored highest in the East, followed by Verizon and Cablevision Systems.

On performance and reliability, cable Internet customers rated their providers an average of 672 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 650 among DSL customers. Fiber-to-the-home providers, such as Verizon FiOS, score an average of 725. In the three most recent months, DSL customers surveyed said they experienced an average of 2.5 outages, compared 2.0 for cable's hybrid fiber-coax network services and 1.4 for fiber connections.

"DSL connections aren't meeting the need for speed, as 21% of customers using this technology indicate their network speed is worse than they expected," Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power said in a statement.

DSL’s market share has declined to 25% from 30% in 2011, while cable has grown to 61% from 59%, and fiber has grown to 14% (from 9%). Among customers who have switched their ISP provider in the past year, 40% were DSL customers and of those 93% chose either a cable or fiber-optic provider.

Among DSL customers whose network speed expectations are not being met, switching intention is 43%, Perazzini noted: “These customers are clearly candidates for a technology upgrade."

J.D. Power’s 2012 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 20,750 customers in the U.S., fielded in four waves: November 2011, January 2012, April 2012 and July 2012.

The full rankings by region and provider are available here.