Internet service providers meet or exceed 86% of customers' expectations for speed, which is a key indicator of overall satisfaction with the service, according to J.D. Power & Associates' annual study of residential Internet service customers.
According to the 2011 study, 69% of consumers said they received expected speeds from their ISP while 17% said speeds were better than expected. The remaining 14% said their Internet speeds were below expectations.
Satisfaction among customers who consider their Internet speed better than expected averages 755 on a 1,000-point scale, which is 129 index points higher than the overall average, J.D. Power found.
A study of 13 U.S. ISPs commissioned by the Federal Communications Commission released in August found that on average providers now deliver actual download speeds within 20% of advertised speeds, with only "modest performance declines" during peak periods.
Among individual providers, on J.D. Power's 2011 survey Cox Communications, Verizon Communications and WideOpenWest scored highest in their respective regions for total customer satisfaction.
Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications scored below average in all four regions, and Comcast was in the top half of the customer-satisfaction ranking in only one region (West) out of the four.
The full rankings by region and provider are available here: http://businesscenter.jdpower.com/news/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2011183.
J.D. Power said more Internet customers reported outages and contacted customer support than in 2010. About 39% of customers contacted customer service, up 8 percentage points from 2010, while 34% reported an outage (versus 27% last year). Overall, 92% of customers contacted customer service by telephone compared with 81% in 2010.
"The financial implications of outages are significant," J.D. Power director of telecommunications Frank Perazzini said. "Among customers who experience an outage, the percentage who say they ‘probably will' or ‘definitely will' switch providers in the next 12 months is 21%, compared with only 15% of those who did not experience an outage."
J.D. Power's 2011 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 23,098 residential ISP customers nationwide. The study was fielded in four waves: in November 2010, and in January, April and July 2011.
The study measures customer satisfaction with high-speed Internet service based on five factors: performance and reliability; cost of service; billing; offerings and promotions; and customer service.