FCC: Web speed half of what is promised

A new FCC study is reporting dramatic differences between the “up to” figures touted by phone and cable companies in promoting their web connections and the internet speeds consumers actually get, WalletPop reports. According to the FCC, the differences exist no matter how consumers get their broadband. “Actual download speeds experienced by U.S. consumers lag advertised speed by roughly 50 percent,” according to an FCC technical report released this week. While saying clearly that consumers are unlikely to get a download at the advertised speed, the FCC was less specific on whether this is because internet providers are fudging in their ads. Computer performance, local Wi-Fi network hardware and configuration issues, and overburdened internet sites could be contributing to the slower speeds, it said. “‘Cheated’ is a strong term,” said Benjamin Lennett, senior policy analyst for the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, which analyzed the FCC report. But “clearly, there is a problem going on.” The FCC report said that, in 2009, consumers subscribed to connections advertised as averaging a speed of up to 8 megabytes per second. The average download speed consumers actually got was 4 megabytes per second, and heavy internet downloaders got about 3 megabytes per second for their average downloads. The report also said that the differences between the advertised speed and the actual speed occurred whether the internet came by fiber, cable, DSL, or satellite…

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