Broadband is spreading across the United States at a steady rate, with high success. However, not all providers offer the same services. A recent study showed that cable broadband delivers significantly better performance than, for example, DSL network. The FCC conducted an investigation and analyzed the efficiency of the largest Internet providers in the United States. Even though the testing was controlled by the Commission, and despite the rigorous rules, the ISPs showed exceptional performance.
What were the results?
Every cable operator that participated in the study delivered at least 92% of the advertised speed during peak hours. In fact, three operators surpassed 100% and delivered even more, during low traffic moments. To put these numbers into perspective, we can use the results from DSL tests. For example, DSL providers averaged around 84%, and no one offered more than 90% of the advertised speed. As you can see, cable ISPs offer consistency, which is one of the most important factors in the industry.
One thing that cable providers deliver better in comparison to the DSL is the performance during peak hours. As with regular traffic, there are peak hours in the Internet industry as well, usually around 7-11pm.It’s the time when the whole network suffers a heavy load and performance during these four hours is crucial. Luckily, tested providers didn’t show a decrease in efficiency while under heavy load, which is great.
What happens next?
Because the number of users is continuously growing, an upgrade of the infrastructure is inevitable and necessary at some point. The good news is that they’ve already started a few projects which have the goal to expand the capabilities of cable-provided Internet.
The PowerBoost technology is the new thing on the market. It’s a pretty simple yet effective concept. It is a burst technique which offers a short-term boost of download speed. Some cable operators can even double up the rate in short intervals. Overall, the operators delivered 99% of their advertised performance during heavy traffic.
From a business point, the test was more than successful. A lot of ISPs collaborated on a very open and honest level. People in this industry realize the importance of customer’s satisfaction, and they are focusing a big chunk of their resources on improvement and innovations.
If providers continue to improve and upgrade the infrastructure and network in general, we will get to the point where there isn’t any bottleneck, heavy load, chokes, and lag. Individuals that run businesses without much need for a good internet connection won’t notice the difference when the network gets upgraded. However, people who need a stable, smooth, and fast connection can’t wait for the next generation of broadband.