back to article America's broadband speed map is back! And it doesn't totally suck!

After four years in purgatory the US government's internet broadband map is back - and it's pretty good. The map was relaunched at the monthly meeting of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday, presumably as a way to distract from the fact that the regulator finally published its net neutrality repeal in the …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Price information is meaningless unless there's competition. Where I am, it's one provider who has more than 25 mbps download. The get the "high speed" of allegedly 100 mbps and thus own the market. No competition so no need to mention price, right?

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      I've got the same thing in that they say I should have 200Mbps down and 10Mbps up at my place from the only broadband line provider Comcast. However I've never seen 200Mbps on a speed test in my life there. Even overnight/early morning I never get anything like that. Obviously there will be some averaging but that doesn't cover it. This is a relatively rural location and Verizon don't offer Fios.

      1. Nate Amsden

        Curious are you in a city or a smaller town ? I'm in California in a town of ~200k, Comcast ~200Mbit here(maybe 250 I forget exactly), was trying to figure out an "independent" way to measure bandwidth by finding a mirror of something that is close to me latency wise, decided on VMware - downloaded a 350MB ISO image from them at about 25 megabytes per second so pretty accurate with what my service is supposed to be). This is in early afternoon and I work from home so possible not many others are online around me doing bandwidth heavy things.

        95% of the time when I am web browsing I am proxying through my co-located server(over openvpn), and the internet routing comcast uses to get to my colo is not efficient(travels easily 4X the distance than it otherwise could), so my throughput through the proxy drops to 5MB/sec.

        Latency to download2.vmware.com where I got the image from is 13.5ms

        Latency to my colo(100Mbit so couldn't hit 200Mbit even if it was local): 25ms

        Company I work for has equipment hosted at a facility in Atlanta, I believe vmware's CDN had a site in the same facility, last time I used it anyway the latency was not more than 2ms. Though right now the Atlanta CDN (Akamai) shows as 14ms away -- hosted on Comcast's network

        So since it is hosted on Comcast's network(even the local Akamai mirror for vmware is for me here now that I see) maybe it is not a good independent test. I don't know, I keep seeing claims on how ISPs rig the speed test sites.

        Previously I lived in bay area, and had a local cable company as my ISP (served that city only). Speeds were about 20% of what I have on Comcast for around the same price(Comcast is a bit more). Only reason I have the ~200Mbps service with Comcast is I wanted the faster upload. I'd be perfectly happy with 30Mbps if I could get 10-20Mbps upload. Previous ISP I had about 3Mbps upload.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Rural place on an island in New England with a small population. It's a holiday home and therefore not critical to have superfast speeds but still.

      2. kain preacher

        I have the opposite, It says I have a max of 75 down and 5 up. with ATT. Right now I have 100up and 100 don and max of 1000Mbps down and 980Mbs up

  2. Oh Homer
    Flame

    Ajit is an eejit

    And stinks of corruption.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cableco and mobile?

    "Concerns that what cable companies were telling the FCC and what customers were actually receiving in terms of speed – particularly when it comes to mobile broadband..."

    What does cable have to do with mobile broadband? They're totally orthogonal technologies. Cable, by definition, is provided to fixed premises. If any cableco is providing mobile broadband as part of a package deal, it's almost certainly via some third-party partner. Not to say that the corporations offering each aren't a bunch of liars when it comes to performance, but at least blame the right liar for each lie.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fine. You go explain to Comcast that they aren't a mobile operator which extends its reach via Xfinity whose connections are everywhere that a subscriber exists. Nice racket there.

  5. hellwig

    I find it odd that some country-ass areas around me have 4+ providers, while I'm lucky to have two or three (U-verse is offered, not sure it's of any value). I don't think counting re-sellers is terribly effective here. It might help on price (which, again, is not detailed), but if only Comcast has copper in your area, you're effectively stuck with Comcast, right? And you're stuck with Comcast's network-level decisions, like throttling and other non-neutral practices, right? And lets be honest, a lot of re-sellers are total shit. There's a reason they're cheaper, because their support is terrible. I was locked in to a re-seller at an apartment complex once, we were HAPPY to see Comcast take over. Nearly cried tears of joy, THAT'S how terrible some re-sellers can be.

    1. Nate Amsden

      I know I was happy to get Comcast again when I moved. Only reason really is I wanted faster upload, and ISP at previous home(of 5 years) didn't give more than I think 5Mbps(I had 3Mbps). Now I have I think up to 20Mbps. Would like even more to have faster upload(I have a server colo'd which I backup data to- lots of video and stuff).

      Comcast has generally been reliable for me at the new location, though I have noticed maybe 3 or 4 outages(1-2 hrs max) over the past 20 months or so. I'm sure there have been more than that I just haven't noticed them all.

    2. Commenter44655

      Take this map with a serious grain of salt. It says I'm not able to get Frontier Communications FIOS here (despite having been a customer of theirs for several years), yet according to the map, one block in any direction has Frontier as an ISP.

      So it's not exactly accurate.

      1. NorthIowan

        RE:Take this map with a serious grain of salt.

        You are right about that. It says if I lived across the street I could get Mediacom. Most of the area across the street from me is usually planted with corn or beans. And some of it is marsh/swamp. But there are a few houses that may be able to get Mediacom on either end of that area so might not be totally wrong.

        Oh my, the local phone company provides 1000 Mbps fiber to the lake. Not sure how you put fiber into a lake. No house boats around here. The lake freezes pretty solid each winter. Trucks can drive on it now, well not to all places. So far 3 vehicles have fallen through that I know of.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (rinng riing riing)

    Mr Cable - "You stupid idiot. Were you sleeping or what? What do we pay you for?"

    AP - "Sorry, sir. While I was pushing through the neutrality repeal, some staffers put this up without telling me".

    Mr Cable - "We can't have this information publicly accessible. Take it down".

    AP - "We can't just remove it now that it's up. Wait... we'll contract the next release out to Accenture or IBM. We can spare the $20M to have a non-working website. Maybe we can even get a discount if we tell them it shouldn't work - they have plenty of experience doing those."

  7. DonatelloNobatti

    Pure fiction

    Disregarding satellite, the maps says that I can choose from 4 providers with speeds up to 940 Mbs, when in fact, I have only 1 provider available- a WISP that offers 4Mbs for $99/month.

    Fake news?

  8. Kev99

    Where we are at, our ONLY choice is watered down, derelict DSL from Frontier. They've admitted they no intention of upgrading our crappy 756Kbps to 2.5Mbps DSL and have no intention of adding repeaters, amplifiers or other gear. According to an official Frontier representative, if we don't like it, leave. What's really sad is that when we were in Tanzania, we got better and faster service using an USB dongle to automatically switched between GSM, EDGE, and CDMA. And the closest tower was a couple miles away in an area lower than where we lived.

  9. A-nonCoward
    Mushroom

    when irony mimics nature

    I went see the map. Internet has been slow today, and loading the data was a pain. Yeah.

    Major city with strong IT presence,

    The map shows the wrong area after first not even recognizing my zip code, in a central area of town. Then it turns out there's lot of competition(?), 8 providers, but 3 of them are by satellite :pfff only one cable, 2 ADSL, two "fixed wireless" (?) of companies I had never heard of. Interestingly, our cable provider is not listed.

    only 2 are listed as more than 25/3 Mbps.

    This looks like merely a different flavor of useless.

  10. DougS Silver badge

    I learned of a fixed wireless option where I am I didn't know about

    Unfortunately the name they used for the company is three years out of date (since a merger) so I wonder at the age of the data they are using. But worse, it gets terrible reviews, so it really isn't an option after all even though it is listed.

  11. oldcoder

    Well, the numbers reported are bogus.

    Where I am is REPORTED to have 940Mbits down, 880 Mbits up.

    But what I got from a test was 83.2Mbits up, 85.1Mbits down.

    Good for what I do, but nowhere NEAR the 940/880 level of the map...

    Which appears to be inflated by a factor of 10.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes it does suck

    Don't let the map fool you, I live in a rural area of California and our ONLY broadband is either satelite (sucks) or the single local WISP (sucks worse). We can't get fiber, cable or even DSL. Everyone seems to think the entire world is connected via high speed always on broadband. Makes me want to puke. Just doing Windows updates uses up my monthly allotment of data...

  13. Marty McFly
    Mushroom

    Bunch of bravo-sierra!!!!

    The map is reporting speeds 60% faster than what we actually get in this area. What a load of crap.

  14. IglooDude

    Yeah, when you can list three satellite providers, your "competitive environment" for broadband is going to look a lot more competitive than reality will bear out.

  15. Anne Nonymous

    25 Mbps isn't a "baseline" broadband speed. It's "luxury" broadband. All you really need is 4 Mbps to stream the fattest video streams. But of course people will use the bogus 25 Mbps number to falsely claim that there isn't enough broadband....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utter bollocks

    I live in Los Angeles, the FCC website shows 6 providers. But who are they? Spectrum - the one I have - at 300Mbps, but the next three providers are satellite at 25, 10 and 2Mbps. And the other two providers? ATT & ATT, No really, two of them are the same company. And the bandwidth? A stunning 768kbps. When was the last time you saw a 'k' in front of 'bps'?

  17. hayzoos

    Notice the small notation of speed >=25/3Mbps as broadband for the color legend. The count of broadband providers for the color coding is based on that. My location shows 2 broadband providers, one cable and one satellite, plus 3 below the 25/3 threshold two satellite and 1 ADSL; speeds are 200/10, 25/3, 15/2, 5/0.768, 2/1.3.

    I have the cable at the lowest tier of service 10/2 for $50/mo. with my own cable modem, router, and wireless no data cap, definitely not neutral, personalized ads injected, torrents & other services blocked/throttled, VPN hostile. It's $75/mo. to go to 25/3 without renting equipment. 100/5 and 200/10 are available at $100/mo. and $200/mo. They claim to offer 2000Mbps service at $300/mo and must lease their equipment. Inaccurate, but close.

    The only other 25/3 broadband provider only lists up to 12Mbps for my area throttled at $65/mo.@40GB, $95/mo.@60GB, $145/mo.@100GB. Inaccurate, only half the speed supposedly available, not broadband.

    The 15/2 provider actually resells the ADSL 5/0.768 in their TV/internet package. I had DSL before, started out OK but then the service was bad, the infrastructure is even more neglected now. They cannot be providing 5/0.768 service here. No sense in looking up their prices. Inaccurate on two counts.

    The 2/1.3 provider actually lists plans ranging from 0.768/0.512 to 4/2 unmetered contended from $360/mo. to $3450/mo. and 10/2 metered from $100/mo to $500/mo. without equipment cost or installation of $1550 to $4884 plus taxes discounted $1000 with 2-year service agreement. Inaccurate and priced out of the market.

    So in reality there is only one broadband provider in my area. One listed resells the other, therefore only four providers, not five. None of the service levels are accurate. Three directly or through partners compete with streaming providers (net neutrality issue), and are known data slurps. Nice work of fiction. No need to change the names to protect the innocent.

  18. gnarlymarley Bronze badge
    WTF?

    Something tells me my provider has lied on this as I have 5 down and 2 up, but the FCC page says 80 down and 20 up. Someone is lying somewhere.

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