We know. You’re shocked, absolutely shocked, that your ethical and above-board Internet provider might, in fact, be lying to you. But you’ll just have to accept this reality… and probably switch providers.
The Wall Street Journal ran some tests on Internet speed in 800 cities around the country, and the results were not exactly great:
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.
Among the providers who actually delivered faster service than promised, surprisingly Verizon FiOS and Charter offered, on average, slightly faster speeds than promised. Amazingly, Time Warner Cable and Comcast only averaged about one or two percent below their advertised speeds, overall.
As for locations, and the Journal has 800 of ‘em, mostly it’s an illustration of what happens when cable providers aren’t forced to update their equipment. If you sort the list by download or upload speeds, what tellingly pops out is that it’s mostly limited to states that either suffer a lot of natural disasters or tend to lean on cable companies to update their infrastructure more often. This is part of the reason our Internet stinks compared to Europe’s.
As for who gets screwed the hardest, by location, unsurprisingly it’s all fairly rural areas, but it really blows to live in Idaho if you like fast Internet service: It’s got three of the ten cities lowest-ranked in Internet speed. White space broadband can’t come soon enough.