Results are in: fiber consumers get what they pay for, and more

Good news: our internet is getting faster, according to the 2015 Measuring Broadband America report just issued by the Federal Communications Commission. Over the past five years — when the FCC started collecting this kind of data — improvements in technology have led to better, faster internet for more Americans. “Today’s report confirms that advances in network technology are yielding significant improvements in broadband speeds and quality,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “Faster, better broadband will unleash new innovations and new services to improve the lives of the American people. This comprehensive assessment of broadband performance helps to keep consumers informed and hold ISPs accountable.”

This is good news overall, but when we look at the speeds experienced by Americans with fiber, it’s even better.

Fiber customers get higher download speeds

Actual Download Speeds across technologies, 2011–2015. Federal Communications Commission, Measuring Broadband America 2015.

FTTH consumers get what they pay for — and sometimes more. According to the FCC, approximately 70% of subscribers to fiber-based technologies experience actual download speeds exceeding the advertised download speed.

Fiber customers get much higher upload speeds

Actual Upload Speeds across technologies, 2011–2015. Federal Communications Commission, Measuring Broadband America 2015.

Fiber is the only symmetrical technology for delivering broadband, and no where is that more apparent than in the results of the FCC’s tests. This symmetry is important for consumers who want to use two-way video or other cloud applications that require uploading large quantities of data.

Fiber customers have a better experience when surfing the web

The FCC’s report does not just measure speeds; it tackles other measures of broadband network quality that we experience when we’re actually using the internet at home. Latency is a measure of how much time it takes a data packet to travel from one point in a network to another. Importantly for consumers, latency may affect the perceived quality of highly interactive applications such as phone calls over the Internet, video chat, or online multiplayer games. And of all the technologies measured, fiber connections had the lowest latency measures, meaning consumers experience no delays or jumps when using their connections. And fiber consumers also experienced the lowest average webpage download times.

2015 has been a big year for fiber — can’t wait to see what the new year brings!