FCC finds Web speeds as fast as advertised

Most Internet service providers are meeting or beating their advertised Web speeds, according to a new report from the Federal Communications Commission.

Across the country, Internet providers were offering 101 percent of their advertised online speeds, the commission found in its annual national broadband survey, an increase from just a year ago.


Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio), leaders of the House Commerce subcommittee on Technology and Communications, said that was proof that federal regulators did not need to issue any new rules controlling the way companies direct traffic online.

“The evidence continues to mount that the administration’s call for ‘net neutrality’ regulations is grounded in finding solutions for problems that don’t exist,” they said in a joint statement, referring to the concept that all traffic online should be treated equally. “We hope the commission walks away from this report with a healthy skepticism that regulation somehow fosters better Internet service for American consumers.”

The FCC is currently working on new regulations for the Internet, after an appeals court tossed out existing rules earlier this year.

In addition to the finding that companies are meeting or beating their advertised speeds, the report found that subscribers are moving to faster and faster tiers of service, which the cable industry said was indicative of companies’ investments.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association said that consumers’ moves are “reflective of the fact that broadband providers are consistently working to improve service, quality, and reach.

“So perhaps the most important takeaway of the Commission’s study is the clear evidence that consumers are reaping the benefits of faster and more robust broadband connections,” it said in a blog post

Despite the good news for the cable industry, the survey found that DSL companies are lagging behind other providers. Three DSL companies failed to meat 90 percent of advertised speed at peak hours and some companies using the technology showed little or no improvement in maximum speeds.

Additionally, the report found that Web speeds were not constant for consumers and often dipped below 60 percent of advertised speeds for one-third of the surveyed service providers.