Your ISP Could be Providing Faster Speeds than Advertised

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Do you regularly curse your internet service provider? Well, you might want to pull back just a bit, as your ISP could be giving you faster speeds than they advertise. An FCC report indicates that ISPs in general have been meeting or exceeding advertised speeds.

The report indicates that ISPs deliver an average of 96% of the speeds they advertise at peak hours — from 7 – 11 PM. Test data was collected in April of this year, and the researchers found that most services were doing a better job of meeting advertised speeds compared to last year. Cablevision was the biggest riser from an average of 54% of advertised speeds in 2011, the lowest percentage of advertised speeds last year, to 120% of advertised speeds in 2012, tied with Verizon fiber service as the highest percentage.

Another big jumper was Mediacom, who rose from 75% in 2011 to 100% in 2012. Comcast came in at 103% of advertised speeds, while Verizon’s fiber service came in at 120%. Charter (98%), Cox (95%), and TimeWarner (96%) came in between 95% and 99%.

AT&T, while they rose six percentage points from 2011, still came in at under 90% of advertised speeds at 87%. Quest, Century Link, and Verizon DSL also saw a rise but failed to eclipse 90% of advertised speeds. Frontier dropped two percentage points from 81% to 79%, while Windstream dropped one point from 85% to 84%.

The report found that, as most would expect, the speeds dropped during peak hours when compared to other times of the day when fewer users are logging on. Fiber had the lowest slowdown at 0.8%, while DSL slowed 3.4% and cable slowed 4.1% during peak hours.

Most Usenet services do not limit speeds, but caution that speeds may be limited by the user’s ISP. When signing up for internet service, you might consider the speeds that the company advertises compared to the FCC data that was released this summer to see how they measured up.

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