Speedtest ranks the fastest US ISPs and mobile carriers for the first half of 2016

By Jos · 22 replies
Aug 4, 2016
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  1. Speedtest has published a new report on the state of fixed and mobile broadband speeds across the U.S. The data covers the first six months of 2016 and there’s actually some bit of good news there: Overall, the fixed broadband industry has seen consolidation, speed upgrades and growth in fiber optic deployments, while mobile internet customers have also seen performance gains of over 30% compared to the same period a year ago.

    The typical fixed broadband consumer in the U.S. saw average download speeds greater than 50 Mbps for the first time ever during the first six months of 2016, topping out at 54.97 Mbps in June. This represents a year-on-year increase in download speeds of 42%, while upload speeds also grew 51% with an average of 18.88 Mbps.

    In terms of individual ISPs, Comcast’s XFINITY and Cox Communications offer the fastest download speeds with an average of 125.53 Mbps and 117.85 Mbps, respectively. The newly-created Spectrum, born from the merger of Charter Communications, TWC and Bright House Networks, was a close third with average download speeds of 113.77 Mbps.

    While Verizon’s Fios falls squarely in the middle of the ranking for average download speeds, unlike rival services Fios puts a special emphasis on creating symmetric links, to make the upload just as fast as the download speed. With average upload speeds of 93.64 Mbps, it was by far the fastest in this area -- almost five times as fast than competitors.

    When it comes to mobile broadband both T-Mobile and Verizon are virtually tied for average download speeds at 21.02 Mbps and 21.11 Mbps, respectively. When comparing upload performance, T-Mobile was 40% faster than any of the other major carriers at 11.59 Mbps.

    Coverage is just as important and in that regard Verizon takes the top spot with 98% of test samples from LTE-capable devices taking place on their LTE network, T-Mobile came in second at 95%, followed by AT&T and Sprint tied at 93%.

    Speed and coverage for both fixed and mobile broadband will vary depending on which city and state you happen to be, you can check out this data on Speedtest’s report too.

    Overall the report concludes that fixed and mobile internet performance has taken a big step in the right direction in the U.S. However, current speeds in the U.S. are still much slower than what many other countries receive, and according to a a recent Broadband Progress Report released by the FCC, 10% of Americans lack access to the FCC target speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. This number increases to 39% when looking at rural populations. Only 4% of urban Americans lack access to boradband speeds, however.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 710   +379

    T Mobile is killing it (Verizon)
  3. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    I'll take a solid symmetric link any day, too bad I have to live with Verizon's routing which can be a real pain in the butt for games and even some sites.
    abysal likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Well what the heck I'm not getting that good of service on TMobile...
  5. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Addict Posts: 182   +114

    When will fiber be widespread? Seeing these speeds from cable companies makes me feel sorry for the people who are getting ripped off for a 15MB/s connection.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    What company or industry consortium is paying these people to report this kind of drivel?

    Typical fixed broadband consumer in the US has a 50 Mbps connection? These have got to be either tech-ignorant who have been convinced they need it by their ISP, or Tech savvy who really need it or have it just to say to their friends "mine is bigger than yours". I guess since my area is stuck with Thugs Warner we are behind the times.

    Things might be changing, but IMO, not quickly enough in my area.
    lumbeeman likes this.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,325   +1,973

    As optimistic as it appears, greater competition in the market place is needed to get these companies to put a greater emphasis on their infrastructure. Allowing communities to "lock in" to contracts with a single provider eliminates competition as well as any hope of faster growth. If they would treat the cable companies as they treated the phone companies back in the late 80's and require open competition in communities you would see a much greater effort to build bigger and faster networks. Necessity is still the mother of invention, no matter what industry you're looking at!
  8. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Maniac Posts: 465   +240

    In my area I routinely get 20 Mbps + on T-mobile. On some towers it's 2-3x times faster than that.
    kanehi likes this.
  9. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,066   +427

    I believe that these speeds are the best case scenarios, meaning the most expensive plan the ISP offers in an area.
  10. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    I agree, however, taking the top tier for all areas does not represent what the general population uses, IMO. There is 50Mbps service in my area. I choose not to subscribe to it because 1. I don't need it, 2. it is much more expensive, 3. it's from Thugs Warner and I refuse to pay them any more for the crappy service I get from them 4. There is a local isp laying fiber in my area, when they arrive on my street, I'm dropping Thug Warner.
  11. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,264   +436

    These numbers are......

    quote from another forum

    "So Ookla didn't take into consideration all the slower ADSL customers on ~1.5-6 Mbps speeds I see. There are still plenty of people in this country that cannot get anything faster than 3 Mbps DSL, or even that. Just ask Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink and Windstream DSL customers that"
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  12. damnthereaper

    damnthereaper TS Enthusiast Posts: 44

    While I agree that the spread of fast and affordable broadband still has a lot of areas to reach, it's that far of a stretch to see the modern household needing a 50 Mbps connection.

    Say you have a family of 5: Daughter is watching youtube videos and streaming spotify, son # 1 is playing Call of Duty on ps4, son # 2 is downloading a game on steam while playing on the pc, mom is watching a netflix, and dad's streaming hulu while downloading some stuff for work, all of that adds up quickly making 50 mbps just sufficient for a household but if you throw 4k into any of those streaming options then people are going to complain. Add the fact that we live in a time of instant gratification, too fast has started to loose it's meaning.
  13. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    What kind of horsecrap is this "10% of Americans lack access to the FCC 25mbps blah blah blah". They seem to to forget that rural America is real and many people are still on really old copper, even worse satellite internet, etc. I happen to be fortunate to have fiber optic, and I live in rural Wyoming. And I only have that because the local ISP (that has been here for decades) knows how to get the money from the government to invest in our infrastructure.
    psycros likes this.
  14. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,092   +1,266

    Fiber should have been wide spread a long time ago. I was able to get cable from roadrunner that became time warner that is now charter and the speed hasn't increased much over the years. You know something is wrong when google can walk into any town and take over the place because they actually offer speeds that somewhat saturate fiber.

    For those who don't know, ISPs have been collecting a tax for years on your cable bill that is for expanding the their network into rural areas and to provide access to schools. That and the massive tax dollars they've been gobbling up from the government to "expand" their network. Rural Americans should not have to worry about internet access when companies like comcast and time warner have been accepting tax dollars to alleviate that very issue. You should not feel lucky to have internet access, you should just have it. It goes double when trashbag companies can completely get away from their obligations with public money. Local ISPs are the best and you're lucky you have one. In allot of places cities will completely block access to the Telephone polls because all the local politicians are paid for.
    psycros likes this.
  15. Sir Alex Ice

    Sir Alex Ice TS Enthusiast Posts: 31

  16. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    TWC just did 'another' big upgrade around here. But what amazes me is how they ignore UPLOAD. I'd rather have 50/50 over 300/20. I'd really rather have 1G/1G but, that will never happen with TWC and there is no other choice round here.
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    IMO, in the US, most "subscribers" are hoodwinked by pissy ISPs delivering far too little for far too much. I certainly agree your scenario is feasible, but I would be surprised if it is the norm.
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    Yeah, barely 20 - see my post in the "weekend open forum" thread - https://www.techspot.com/community/...nternet-connection.228906/page-2#post-1556117

    And I do everything you do to control the bloated web pages. One of them even popped up an html overlay that said, "Hmmmm we see you are using an ad blocker" which I then used element hiding helper to defeat. LOL.
    Mike Blackbird likes this.
  19. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 268   +39

    Cablevision isn't even there; rip.

    Used to be one of the top in the past, now other companies surpassed it.. and Altice bought them.

    Thanks guys!
  20. damnthereaper

    damnthereaper TS Enthusiast Posts: 44

    While I' agree it's not the majority I've noticed it's becoming more and more common in middle class urban and suburban areas in the U.S. Kids are growing up now earning to use ipads by the age two, with the premium price of big brand devices going down and alternative cheaper options becoming available, it's more common then feasible. Multiple studies in the last couple of years have showed that around 50% of children from the age 10 and up already have a smartphone in the U.S. or have access to one and I bet those parents find a cheaper to have a decent home internet plan then pay out the wazoo for a data plan to cover a multi-kid home Combine that 88% of adults have smartphones and 45% have tablets and then considering the amount of laptops and personnel computers which at least 40% the those households have more then one according studies 5 years ago. So it's more then feasible it's becoming the norm.
  21. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    Let us hope that at some point those falling into this category will either have a choice of ISP, or complain to the local franchising authority that they want competition because of price gouging and being treated like trash since the ISP has a monopoly on service. As I see it, monopolies are the basis behind the total garbage customer service that most of them are notorious for.

    I noticed the same thing regarding "Thugs Warner" now "Specktrum".
  22. kanehi

    kanehi TS Rookie Posts: 42   +6

    I have TMobile and their speed is pretty awesome... in major metropolitan areas. As you go further out of the city the signal is a bit unstable. I noticed that on major highways TMobile does have a pretty good coverage, driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas I never lost connection. It's nice to talk to someone on a long drive to avoid boredom. My local phone company just switched to fiber optic and data flies compared to an ADSL I used to have, from 1-4mbps to 40mbps download to 25mbps upload.
  23. 827billh

    827billh TS Rookie

    The slowest connection speed the form the cable company I use is 100 mbps . They offer 150 and 200 conections to . My 100 mbps connection yields about an actual speed of 73 mbps . However I bought an external wireless ac 2x2 adapter and with it I get 178 mbps download speeds with my new hp desktop . I don't use mobile internet .

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