In news that is expected to send shockwaves through the Internet that will reach you as soon as they finish buffering, the FCC has confirmed that many Internet service providers do not deliver the download speeds they promise, despite belonging to an industry legendary for its forthrightness. The agency’s Measuring Broadband America report specifically called out Verizon as being the worst offender, saying that, during peak evening hours, most users of its DSL service experience an abysmal 42 percent of the speeds they’re ostensibly paying for—a statistic that surely won’t enter into the ongoing battle between Verizon and Netflix, as these companies are more interested in working together to entertain you than placing blame.
Relatively encouraging is that, since last year’s report, at least 10 of the 14 major ISPs the FCC studied have “slightly improved,” to the point where only a third of them now offer a truly awful 60 percent of advertised speeds to their customers. And users of Verizon FiOS can take heart that they made the right choice to live in a neighborhood where it’s available and pay a lot more, as they get a whopping 101 percent of advertised speeds. Cablevision subscribers similarly exceed expectations at 117 percent, giving them another reason to be smug about living in New York.
As for the largest ISPs who provide cable and fiber broadband, their performance was found to be mostly worth the pain of dealing with them. Comcast gives its customers around 95 percent of the speed it advertises, while Time Warner, Charter, and Cox all deliver 93 percent. Meanwhile, AT&T lags well behind with 62 percent. All of these companies 100-percent think you should find someone else to provide your cable and Internet in your area, if you can.
The FCC says it plans to send letters—presumably, sternly worded—to the CEOs of Verizon and other underperforming companies, asking them how they plan to improve. Verizon has repeatedly thanked the FCC and assured them that their letters will be answered in the order they are received, because they are very important to them.