By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 20, 2012 12:31 PM EDT
The U.S. Federal communications Commission (FCC) released its new broadband performance study on Thursday, July 19, reporting that Internet providers are now delivering 96 percent of advertized download speeds during times of peak bandwidth. The findings mark a significant increase from the 87 percent of advertised speeds in the August 2011. Moreover, some providers are even offering speeds that exceed advertisements and consumer expectation.
"Millions of Americans have improved broadband performance," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. "This is good news for consumers and the economy, but we need to keep pushing for faster broadband speeds and greater capacity."
Overall, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are reaching 96 percent of advertised speeds during peak hours, a 9 percent increase compared to the previous year. DSL and other such older technologies are unsurprisingly outshone by more reliable fiber and cable services, and fiber customers in particular are even getting greater speeds than they actually paid for.
DSL met 84 percent of the advertised speeds, while cable services saw an impressive average of 99 percent. Fiber proved the greatest advertized average download speed, seeing 117 percent of advertized speeds during peak hours. On the whole, all three services showed improvements over last year's results.
According to the FCC, greater investments in infrastructure and network upgrades played a key role in improving overall network speeds. "Accurate delivery of advertised performance by ISPs has improved overall," noted the report.
The report also shows that Verizon and Cablevision customers are at the top of the list of improved broadband services. Cablevision's performance is particularly impressive, as the company saw the worst performance in 2001, reaching just 54 percent of peak time average download speeds. Now, Cablevision's customers are seeing greater than advertised download speeds, comparable to the services Verizon fiber (FiOS) customers receive.
Nearly every ISP is delivering better performance compared to last year, offering speeds consistent with advertised performance, noted the FCC. The range, however, varies between a 120 percent and a 77 percent low of advertised speed, meaning that some customers are still getting only three-quarters of the speed they were promised when signing up to the broadband service.
When it comes to average broadband speed, Verizon fiber (FiOS) and Cablevision rank at the top of the lists with 42Mbps and 56Mbps, respectively. Meanwhile, average consumer broadband speeds increased to 14.6Mbps from 10.6Mbps in 2011. The FCC said it will release another report by the end of the year, after carrying out more testing.
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