Especially when it comes to streaming, internet speed is about the most important part of your overall experience. If you have a low speed connection, it doesn’t matter what type of service or equipment you have, you’ll have a bad time.
So if you have choices, which company should you go with? Which US broadband company offers the fastest speed?
The “2020 Speedtest United States Market Report” by Ookla (who you may recognize by their website, speedtest.net), offers a little insight. To compile this data, they analyzed almost 19 million fixed broadband devices and over 85 million consumer-initiated tests.
Here’s what they found.
The median download speed actually increased 19.6% during the last year to 86.04 mbps. There was a slight decline in average broadband speed in early March as quarantines went into effect all across America, but those speeds have since rebounded.
When it comes to the fastest ISP, this study assigns each one a “Speed Score,” or a measure of that provider’s overall download and upload speeds (download speed accounts for 90% of the sore and upload counts for the remaining 10%). The Speed Score then combines speeds from the 10th percentile, the 50th percentile and the 90th percentile in a weighted average.
As far as individual companies, Verizon offered the fastest fixed broadband, racking up a score of 117.14. Verizon also had the lowest average latency. XFINITY was right behind at 107.89, and Cox took third place with 102.11. Spectrum at 94.96 and AT&T at 82.78 rounded out the top five, and CenturyLink took sixth place, well behind with a score of 36.18.
In terms of consistency though, the breakdown looks a little different. Spectrum claims the top spot with 84.4%, narrowly edging XFINITY at 84% and Verizon at 83.9%. Cox has a 79.3% consistency, AT&T a 70.8%, and CenturyLink, the slowest in the speed rankings, brings up the rear in consistency with 44.9%. The consistency score reflects the percentage of a provider’s samples that meet minimum thresholds for download and upload speeds.
And how much does location affect things? Quite a bit as you can imagine.
The fastest states for internet are New Jersey, with an average download speed of 99.11 mbps. Massachusetts was right behind them with 94.59. Rhode Island (94.06), New York (93.82), and Florida (92.98) closed out the top five. The slowest states? New Mexico with 48 mbps, Alaska with 47.74, Idaho with 47.46 and Montana with 44.54. Wyoming had the slowest speeds of any US state with an average of 43.82 mbps.
Did you know we have a YouTube Channel? Every week we have a live Cord Cutting Q&A, and weekly Cord Cutting recap shows exclusively on our YouTube Channel!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for our live Q&A, weekly news recap, and more.
Follow us for more cord cutting news, tips, and reviews.
Plus, join our Tech Support Facebook Group for cord cutting support from our community.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get our weekly newsletter, the latest deals, and much more.
Artie has a degree in English from UNC Charlotte. He has over 20 years of experience as a writer, starting as a freelancer in college. Artie was late to the streaming game but has cut the cord and is still enjoying documentaries and historical fiction without paying a cable bill every month.