If you believe your Internet service provider is not delivering the broadband speeds that you're paying for, you are most certainly not alone.
In fact, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is on the case. After the results of a new study discovered some providers are still not delivering on promised speeds, Wheeler plans on issuing written warnings to these companies to step on the gas.
The news was mostly good, though. The report concluded most providers are delivering on their advertised speeds, some above their stated speeds. On average, DSL providers averaged 91 percent of their claimed speed, cable hit 102 percent, and satellite hit it out of orbit at 138 percent. These numbers are based on performance during peak hours of service.
The just-released report, entitled the 2014 Measuring Broadband America Report on Fixed Broadband, contains data collected from fixed ISPs. The sample population in the report was drawn from subscribers of ISPs serving over 80 percent of the residential marketplace and includes thousands of volunteers.
Measurements were taken during a single reference month representing a typical usage period for the average consumer. The reference month for this report was September 2013.
The results of the study indicate service tends to be speedier in this order, from fastest to slowest -- satellite, fiber, cable, DSL. The most notable gap in service occurred between the first three and DSL.
The FCC report stressed broadband speed delivery is also very much dependent on circumstances beyond the control of the ISP. Bottlenecks encountered at the end of the line account for many complaints of poor service. Subscribers who are using outdated or malfunctioning routers, computers or wiring can experience speed delivery issues that are not traceable to inadequate ISP service. These subscribers should check with their providers to make sure they are using the most recent equipment offered by the ISP and ensure software upgrades have been installed.
ISPs that offer tiered service levels with speeds that exceed 20 Mbps or more (for additional cost) are finding these higher speeds are especially sensitive to the quality of the connection at the end of the line.
The report reached the general conclusion that ISPs closely meet or exceed their advertised speeds, but there continues to be room for improvement; consistency of delivered speeds per ISP needs significant improvement; and consumers are continuing to migrate to faster speed tiers.