U.S. Internet Speedtest: Winners and Losers

Average download speeds for broadband customers in the U.S. this year have exceeded 50 Mbps for "the first time ever," according to a new report from Speedtest on Internet service provider (ISP) performance across the country. Mobile Internet speeds are also increasing, although the U.S. continues to lag globally in both broadband and mobile performance, currently ranking 20th in fixed broadband and 42nd in mobile Internet performance globally.

Comcast's Xfinity ranked number one during the first six months of this year among U.S. ISPs for download speeds, averaging 125.53 Mbps, according to Speedtest, a service of Seattle-based Ookla. In a measurement of upload speeds, meanwhile, Verizon's Fios fiber service came in at the top with an average speed of 93.64 Mbps.

In the case of mobile Internet services, customers are benefitting from a highly competitive market in which the top four carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon -- "are in a tight race for fastest download speeds," according to the new report. And mobile network speeds, now averaging a little more than 19 Mbps, have increased by over 30 percent since last year.

For mobile downloads, there was a tie between Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile in the first half of 2016, with speeds averaging just over 21 Mbps, according to Speedtest. T-Mobile was the top performer in uploads, with an average speed over 11 Mbps.

'Time will Tell' on Gigabit Speeds

Since July 2015, fixed broadband customers across the U.S. have seen download speeds improve by more than 40 percent, according to Speedtest. It said those improvements came in the wake of industry consolidation, infrastructure upgrades and growing deployment of fiber-optic service by companies ranging from AT&T and Xfinity to Google Fiber.

While the average broadband speeds are "more than sufficient for typical activities like browsing the web and streaming video content," they...

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