Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Is Your DSL Internet Connection Slower Than Advertised?

If slow DSL is the bane of your existence, according to a new study conducted by the Federal Communications Commission, you are not alone.

To help consumers make an informed decision when choosing a broadband internet provider, the Commission conducted the first nationwide performance study of residential broadband services, focusing on the 13 largest providers.

The results are not exactly that surprising.

On average, during peak usage periods, DSL services only provided 82% of advertised download speeds, with cable internet services delivering 93%, and fiber services boasting 114% of advertised speeds.

All types of internet services performed better on upload speeds during peak periods, with DSL at 95% of advertised speeds, cable internet at 108%, and fiber services at 112%.

The study also showed that performance numbers vary within a provider depending on the plan a consumer has purchased.

For example, AT&T was at 78% of advertised speeds for those who purchased connections of 768 Kbps, but jumped to 92% for those who purchased plans of 24 Mbps.

Now that you have proof of your slow DSL, can you do anything about it?

Internet service providers have taken to advertising speeds in an "up to" manner, meaning that they aren't promising you 24 Mbps every moment your internet is in use. As long as they can provide you with something close to that speed at least some of the time, then there are likely no laws being broken.

So unless you choose a different provider or a higher plan, you're stuck with slow DSL.

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