ComScore Charts Cable, DSL Speeds

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ComScore Networks, the Internet-usage measurement firm that owns MediaMetrix, caught the attention of the broadband community several weeks ago when it released its first-ever report on connection speeds for various cable and telephone broadband ISPs.

ComScore culled data from its 1 million residential clients and found the average connection speed for a cable modem in February was 708 Kilobits per second, compared to 467 Kbps for DSL.

That was the first time the company disseminated such information, and it sparked a number of phone calls from broadband companies, said ComScore executive vice president of corporate development Russ Fradim.

"We're providing the first cross-provider view of churn, market share, tiered pricing and speeds," said Fradim. "We're the only source for true performance data for ISPs."

ComScore has done private studies for MSOs before, and hasn't received comments that its data was faulty, Fradim said.

ComScore is an Internet data and traffic-measurement firm that last year incorporated MediaMetrix — essentially the Nielsen Media Research of the Web world.

In addition to the 1 million U.S. homes, ComScore monitors Internet traffic on another 500,000 homes worldwide.

"We provide Web measurements at home, work and school," he said. These "Nielsen" Internet families download software into their computers that directs all traffic from those machines through one of 700 ComScore servers nationwide.

For instance, say a Comcast subscriber requests a Web page from ESPN.com. That request goes from the PC, through Comcast's plant to a ComScore server and then on to ESPN.com, before returning back through ComScore's server. It then migrates through Comcast's network to the consumer's PC.

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