Internet service providers continue to overstate the performance of broadband service to consumers, according to a new FCC report.
As CIOUpdate reports, the findings not only mean consumers are largely getting inferior service but provide another good reason for more oversight by federal regulators, particularly the FCC.
The commission noted that the speed gap is attributable to a variety of factors, some outside the control of the ISP. Older computers or sluggish routers, for instance, will undermine the user’s Internet experience, as will unresponsive websites.
At the same time, the researchers pointed out that the advertised connection speeds, often marketed as “blazing fast” and expressed as offering service “up to” X Mbps, can create a false and misleading perception among consumers.
The Federal Communications Commission is warning that the average connection speeds users see from their broadband connection fall well short of the speeds advertised by their Internet service providers.
In a new report (PDF available here), the FCC has found that broadband service across a variety of technologies, including cable, fiber, DSL and satellite, carried advertised mean and median speeds of between 7 Mbps and 8 Mbps last year. Actual speeds, according to the study, checked in with a mean of 4 Mbps and a median of 3 Mbps, creating a shortfall of roughly 50 percent.
“This gap may cause confusion among consumers, as actual speeds, which largely determine the end-user experience, lag speeds advertised considerably,” the agency concluded.