FCC report reveals which ISPs are ripping you off on internet speed

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(NaturalNews) Occasionally, a government agency may deliver a somewhat helpful oversight service, at least in terms of consumerism. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) provides oversight and reports on discrepancies among various ISP (internet service provider) advertised speeds compared to actual speeds and reports them.

Overall, the FCC recently reported that most ISP groups provided at, just below, or just above their advertised speeds. Only a few were considerably off the mark between what they advertised and what they produced.

Verizon delivered only 80 percent of its advertised speed, AT&T managed 79 percent, while Windstream came in at just 78 percent. FCC head Tom Wheeler claimed he'll be shooting off warning letters to those companies that fell too short of their advertised delivery speeds.

Understanding internet speak and services a little more

Satellite internet service providers have improved their download delivery speeds considerably ever since a new breed of communication satellites were placed into orbit in 2011.

Now their download or downstream speeds are even greater than promised. But satellite services do have more latency (delay between downstream and upstream) problems than earthbound companies' ISP delivery.

Latency from satellite services can result with digital information signal packets colliding when attempting a Skype (internet phone) conversation resulting in garbled words, and sometimes streaming gets weird.

Weather interference is much more common with satellite services, while cable services experience external interruptions less than satellite. But DSL is hardly affected or interrupted by transient external sources.

Internet speeds are measured in Mbps (megabits per second). To give you at least a vague idea of how much data is transmitted, there are eight bits in each binary code to equal a byte, thus megabytes (MBps) equal eight times as many bits as Mbps.

It takes eight bits or one byte for a binary code to create one character or digit. For example, A = 01000001 while a = 01100001.

Upload speeds tend to be considerably lower than download speeds. For example, it's common for an advertised download speed of 5 Mbps to come in at nearly that amount, more or less, while the upload speed could be slightly less than one Mbps.

You can measure your download and upload speeds here ( Select the server nearest you for the best test "ping".

This discrepancy is acceptable because the major focus for most is download speed. But some knowledgeable computer users complain that it shouldn't be so. They are usually concerned with transferring large files or doing large backups into cyberspace storage websites.

Generally, cable ISP tends to be a little faster than DSL (digital service line), ISP from telephone companies or DSLs providers that use telephone lines.

But they are close enough to allow one to choose between one that insists on paying for a TV/internet package in one's home or office at a high price against one that allows you to use internet service only at a much lower price.

And there is more reliability and consistency with DSL than cable. Cable uses RF (radio frequency) to transmit signals while DSL is connected through a telephone line system.

This author has experienced down times of hours and even days with various cable services in the USA and Mexico over the past two decades. That hasn't happened with two different DSL groups.

Also, peak time use or added customers in a given area may slow down a cable ISP. Each area or neighborhood is in a loop within signal relay points. So everyone in that loop is sharing the same signal. With DSL, each customer is directly attached to a dedicated circuit with each signal relay point.

However, if that phone company relay point is too far away, telephone lines will attenuate the signal and lower the bandwith or speed.

If you're not far from a DSL relay and your upload requirements are not excessive, many experts recommend home or home office internet users go with DSL, especially if you already have a phone line. But if you're strictly a cell phone and Skype user, CenturyLink will let you have a "pretend" or "phantom" phone line to provide the lowest cost internet-only service after an initial setup fee.

BTW, this author has no affiliation or financial interest with CenturyLink other than sharing his personal experience.

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