Good news! US broadband speeds are up. Bad news – they're still rubbish

Inventor of the internet lagging behind developed world

Average internet speeds have increased in the US over the last year, but America is still falling behind many other developed economies when it comes to data speeds and latency.

The annual survey by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported that maximum advertised speeds rose from 37.2Mbps in September 2013 to 72Mbps one year later. Most ISPs managed to match those advertised speeds, the FCC reports.

"Today's report confirms that advances in network technology are yielding significant improvements in broadband speeds and quality," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement.

"Faster, better broadband will unleash new innovations and new services to improve the lives of the American people. This comprehensive assessment of broadband performance helps to keep consumers informed and hold ISPs accountable."

The most significant speed growth came in the deployment of fiber and improved cable infrastructure, with speeds rising fourfold. But DSL speeds are reported as "stagnant" and little is available past 12Mbps for Americans online.

Latency times improved across the board for DSL, cable, and fiber. But the FCC noted that high-latency satellite internet connections, used in more remote parts of the country, were still below optimal levels.

The FCC also noted that in regions where high internet speeds were offered, customers were more than willing to upgrade to take advantage of them. This was particularly common with fiber and high-speed cable packages. ®

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