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Comcast, Verizon Fios Tie as Fastest ‘Major’ U.S. ISP: Study

Comcast and Verizon Fios topped the list of the nation’s fastest “major” ISPs, according to a new study from PCMagbased on more than 140,000 tests completed by U.S. residents last month.

“This is the first time that Verizon FiOS isn’t a clear winner,” PC Mag noted, as the battle between the telco and cable op resulted in an “almost perfect tie.”

Per the results, Comcast and Verizon Fios both clocked in with aggregate download/upload “index” speed of 49.6 Mbps, while Verizon had a clear edge on the upstream thanks to the service’s symmetrical nature, and Comcast was tops on the downstream side (59.4 Mbps).  

"Love or hate Comcast, you probably won't mind its fat, fast pipe to the Internet one bit,” PC Mag said.

When all ISPs are factored in, including some that are extremely localized, Google Fiber, with an index speed of 353.7 Mbps, was tops, followed by EPB Fiber Optics (156.4 Mbps), Grande Communications (83.4 Mbps), Midco (50.9 Mbps), Comcast and Verizon, Altice-owned Suddenlink (47.8 Mbps), RCN (47.1 Mbps), Charter-owned Time Warner Cable (45.4 Mbps) and Cox Communications (45.1 Mbps).

PCMag was unimpressed by satellite broadband speeds, with HughesNet 4 Get and ViaSat’s Exede plotting in Index scores of 7.4 Mbps, while mobile operators such as T-Mobile (17.2 Mbps), Verizon Wireless (12.0 Mbps), AT&T Wireless (11.0 Mbps), and Sprint (7.6 Mbps) outperform them both.

Among regions, Google Fiber was tops in the North Central; Comcast took the crown in the Northeast and Northwest; Grande had the biggest pipe in the South Central; EPB Fiber Optics led ISPs in Southeast; and TWC was the best in the Southwest.

The study was based on results from 140,663 individual tests completed by U.S. residents from August 29, 2015, to August 22, 2016, using PCMag Speed Test embedded on the site. For an ISP or location to be included in results, PCMag required a minimum of 100 tests.