April 23, 2014
Many Internet Service Providers Offer Slower-Than-Advertised Service
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
The majority of major Internet providers fail to deliver the transfer rate speeds they promise to their customers, according to data provided by broadband metrics company Ookla and its Speedtest.net service.
According to the Wall Street Journal, who used the speed-testing data to analyze the Internet transfer rates of about 800 US cities and 27 service providers, the “vast majority” of companies fail to deliver the speeds that they promise to their customers.
The results found that Midcontinent Communications, EarthLink, Optimum Online, WideOpenWest, Verizon Fios and Charter Communications delivered speeds that were faster than promised, while Cox Communications was neither faster nor slower than its advertised rate claimed.
Most other ISPs had lower-than-advertised transfer rates, with Clear Wireless (41 percent lower), Windstream Communications (30 percent lower) and Cable One (30 percent lower) at the bottom of the list. Among other prominent Internet providers, Verizon Internet Services was 23 percent lower, AT&T U-Verse was 8 percent lower, Comcast Cable was 2 percent lower and Time Warner Cable was 1 percent lower.
The reason that companies like Charter and Earthlink exceeded their promised speeds, explained Engadget’s Timothy J. Seppala, is because they are “smaller providers, with likely lighter user-loads than, say, Comcast or CenturyLink.”
“If you're curious where delivered rates jive most consistently with what's advertised, Trenton, New Jersey, leads the country with download speeds exceeding advertised numbers by over nine percent. Yes, we're surprised too,” he added. “On the other side of that coin, however, Idaho has three cities where customers are only getting between 50 percent and 59 percent of the transfer-rates they're paying for.”
Seppala explained that the cities with the slowest Internet speeds are similar in several ways. For one thing, they tend to be smaller geographically, less populated than larger cities and located “in the middle of nowhere.” The Ookla data was derived from tens of millions of speed test, as well as questionnaires completed by nearly 650,000 Speedtest users over the course of the past 12 months.
“Nationwide, some of the best cities to live in terms of Internet access includes Sierra Vista, Az., which is +8 percent; and Clearwater, Fla., which is +6 percent,” added Gizmodo writer Tricia Duryee. “In Washington, three cities are provided speeds as advertised in Olympia, Lynnwood and Yakima. Pullman is the furthest off, at -25 percent and Seattle falls just below expectations at -14 percent.”