Your Internet not as fast as advertised? Say it isn’t so. Of course, you could just switch providers… Oh wait, Comcast is seeking a near monopoly as a cable ISP. The Wall Street Journal decided to do some intrepid reporting on Internet speeds across the country, sampling 800 cities. The verdict? If we are treating corporations as people, they lie more than politicians.
And if you live in Idaho, you have terrible Internet connectivity. The biggest conclusion that pops out of the report is that rural areas get the shaft when it comes to speed. Google needs to deploy its drones and balloons to the flyover states.
Other takeaways from the WSJ report are that Verizon’s FIOS lives up to its claim, as does Charter. Both actually have faster speeds than advertised. Comcast and TWC are essentially in-line with what the companies promote. From the Wall Street Journal:
“Most major U.S. Internet service providers usually deliver slower speeds than they advertise to their customers. Indeed, the vast majority of the 800 cities included in the sortable table below experience median Internet speeds that are slower than what their providers advertise, according to data provided by Ookla and its online speed test, Speedtest.net.”
If you adjust the report by download and upload speeds, the slow speeds point out that cable companies drag their feet when it comes to updating equipment. Expect that to change as Google and AT&T have entered into a Gigabit war. AT&T is ratcheting up efforts to deploy its network in 21 metro areas. Expect Google to follow suit, and drag the rest of the industry.
The issue with the expansion of Gigabit is that it is leaving rural areas out in the cold. If you’re not a hot city, you’re left behind or have extremely limited choices. In rural areas, the difference between cable and satellite Internet can be measured in miles. The speed can be measure in MBs.
It may be time for a government initiative to fully connect the United States to broadband infrastructure. Google X and Facebook have set about to connect the world, but the United States still lags behind the industrialized world when it comes to Internet speed.