August 02, 2011, 5:47 PM — I think we're supposed to be grateful that Internet service providers aren't misleading consumers as much as they used to regarding their broadband speeds.
But I'm having trouble mustering too much gratitude. Still, it's some sign of progress that a new Federal Communications Commission report, "Measuring Broadband America," shows that ISP broadband speeds are closer to their advertised speeds than they were last year.
You can view the entire report here, but it's main conclusions are:
On average, during peak periods DSL-based services delivered download speeds that were 82 percent of advertised speeds, cable-based services delivered 93 percent of advertised speeds, and fiber-to-the-home services delivered 114 percent of advertised speeds.
Nice job, fiber-to-the-home services!
"For most participating broadband providers, actual download speeds are substantially closer to advertised speeds than was found in data from early 2009 and discussed in a subsequent FCC white paper, though performance can vary significantly by technology and specific provider," the FCC said in releasing the report.
The FCC study looked at service offerings from 13 large wireless broadband providers. The study relied on automated, direct measurements of broadband performance to and from the homes of "thousands of volunteers" in March.
The highest-rated ISP was Verizon's FiOS, which easily exceeded the advertised download speeds for peak hours and 24-hour periods. Lowest-rated was Cablevision, whose download speeds during peak hours averaged less than 60 percent of advertised speeds.