US gains Internet speeds, but gaps remain

Jun 18, 2014
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 20, 2014

Americans enjoyed improved Internet connections over the past year, but some providers were inconsistent or fell short of delivering advertised speeds, the US telecom regulator said Wednesday.

The Federal Communications Commission said in its fourth annual "measuring broadband" report that consumers continued to migrate to higher tiers of service—an average of 21.2 megabits per second in 2013, based on advertised speeds, up from 15.6 Mbps in 2012.

But the FCC said speeds were not up to advertised levels.

Only half the companies delivered 90 percent or better of advertised speed, and several delivered less than 60 percent of the promised speed.

"Consumers deserve to get what they pay for," FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said.

"While it's encouraging to see that in the past these reports have encouraged providers to improve their services, I'm concerned that some providers are failing to deliver consistent speeds to consumers that are commensurate to their advertised speeds.

"As a result, I've directed FCC staff to write to the underperforming companies to ask why this happened and what they will do to solve this."

The report comes amid heated debate over whether the United States is lagging in broadband.

A University of Pennsylvania study released this month found Americans have better access to broadband than most Europeans.

Other studies offer a different view. The World Economic Forum ranked the United States 35th in terms of Internet bandwidth available per user. And a private survey by broadband testing firm Ookla ranked the United States 32nd in the world.

Explore further: US Internet access ahead of EU in key areas: study

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Broadband services approach advertised speeds

Aug 02, 2011

(AP) -- New government data find that the nation's major broadband providers deliver Internet connections that are generally 80 percent to 90 percent of maximum advertised speeds.

FCC plans study to measure broadband speeds

Jun 01, 2010

(AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission wants to find out whether broadband providers are delivering Internet connections that are as fast as advertised.

In US, 19 mn can't get high-speed Internet: study

Aug 21, 2012

Around six percent of the US population, or 19 million people, lack access to high-speed Internet even though deployment has improved in recent years, a government study said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

California bans paparazzi drones

5 hours ago

California on Tuesday approved a law which will prevent paparazzi from using drones to take photos of celebrities, among a series of measures aimed at tightening protection of privacy.

User comments : 0