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Which US Companies Provide the Fastest Internet Service?

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Broadband in the United States

In the last part of this series, we learned that AT&T (T) is moving ahead with the deployment of AT&T GigaPower services. The deployment of this high-speed fiber-based service should help improve AT&T’s relative position in the US wireline broadband space, especially among consumers.

Cable companies dominate this broadband market. Compared to telecom companies’ traditional DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) services, cable broadband speeds are typically higher. However, recent fiber-based offerings like FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) have put telecom companies on a comparable footing with cable providers.

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Cox Communications provides the fastest Internet services

Let’s take a look at the speeds offered by the fastest ISPs (Internet service providers) in the United States (SPY). We’ll examine these speeds by consulting the Netflix ISP Speed Index, which gauges Internet speeds for customers during prime time.

Among large ISPs, cable companies dominated this index in July 2015. Only the fiber-based services of the two most major US wireline telecom companies earned a top-ten spot. As we can see in the above chart, the fastest Internet provider was Cox Communications, followed by Cablevision’s Optimum and Verizon’s (VZ) FiOS.

Charter (CHTR) and Comcast (CMCSA) held the fourth and fifth positions, respectively, in July. AT&T’s U-verse sneaked onto the index, snagging its tenth-highest average Internet speed.

Comparing fiber and DSL for AT&T and Verizon

Let’s compare the speed differential between the fiber-based and DSL offerings of the two largest US telecom companies in July.

According to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, the average speed of AT&T’s U-verse was 3.2 Mbps (megabits per second). AT&T’s DSL came in quite a bit slower at 2.51 Mbps. Similarly, the average speed of Verizon’s FiOS was 3.54 Mbps, and Verizon’s DSL lagged behind at 1.9 Mbps in July.

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