Cable Shines in FCC Broadband Speed Report

"[B]roadband speed offerings to the average consumer continue to increase at a rapid pace, and broadband service providers generally are delivering actual speeds that meet or exceed advertised speeds."

Cable Internet was leading the way in average speed boosts.

That is one of the main takeaways from the FCC's latest "Measuring Broadband America" report, based on data provided by participating ISPs.

The FCC launched the programming to give consumers a more information on which to base their decisions about broadband.

The report found "significant growth" in advertised speeds, though the FCC said that was not "uniform" across all technologies and DSL continued to trail cable and fiber .

The FCC said the median download speed has almost quadrupled from 10 Mbps in March 2011 to 39 Mbps by September 2015.

Cable's year-over-year increases in median download speeds was 47% to fiber, up 14% year over year, and DSL essentially flat. Fixed cable and fiber services got 100% of advertised speeds, or more. But some satellite ISP subs got less than advertised. The FCC said it thought that proposed launches of new satellites should "reverse" that trend.

Cable operators have been rolling out higher-speed modems, and the FCC data showed that if they build it, consumers will come.

Those who were subscribers to service with speeds of 15 Mbps to 50 Mbps in September 2014 were the most likely to have migrated to higher service tiers.

Thirteen ISPs covering 80% of residential broadband subs volunteered data for the 2016 report. They were AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox, Frontier, Mediacom, Optimum, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, ViaSat, and Windstream.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.