The FCC recently released the latest Measuring Broadband America (MBA) report gauging the delivery of residential broadband services across the country during September and October of 2021. The MBA program is administered by SamKnows, the world’s foremost authority on broadband performance testing, and the findings are derived from more than ten billion test measurements.
The Good News
The results show that cable broadband providers continue to deliver speeds that consistently exceed advertised levels.
- During peak periods (7 to 11 p.m.), the FCC found that, on average, cable-based broadband services delivered 114% of advertised downstream speeds.
- All four NCTA member cable broadband providers (Charter, Comcast, Cox, and Mediacom) that participated in the program also delivered more than 100% of advertised speeds in the 80/80 consistent speed metric, performing far better than fiber and DSL providers.
- The weighted average speed of the tested tiers for cable ISPs in 2021 was 305 Megabits per second, a 71% increase from 2020.
The bottom line is that NCTA’s members are offering robust high-quality broadband services and their networks are delivering the performance that consumers expect.
A True Measure of Performance
Run-of-the-mill online speed tests are not able to account for a number of factors (such as cross-talk, Wi-Fi issues, and other equipment-related issues or bottlenecks occurring on the home network) that can skew performance results. The SamKnows methodology used in the MBA is an accurate measurement of broadband delivered to home networks.
- Online network test results can be heavily impacted by factors outside of an ISP’s control, like how busy an individual home network is or physical barriers in the home impacting a router’s performance.
- The MBA report uses methodology to control for those factors, meaning the results are a trusted and true measurement of the services that ISPs provide to the home.
- Hardware-based programs like SamKnows conduct tests on an Ethernet-connected device, and the device will only run tests once it knows there is no cross-talk traffic occurring on the home network.