Cable Operators Largely Drive U.S. Fixed Network Speed Increases

Competition in U.S. internet access markets, despite some concerns, seems to have spurred some of the most-aggressive speed upgrades ever. According to Ookla, U.S. fixed network access speeds have averaged more than 50 Mbps for the first time, ever.

Between 2015 and 2016, fixed network internet access speeds grew more than 40 percent.

One might be tempted to argue that it is gigabit access offers from Google Fiber, AT&T or Comcast and other cable operators that are driving the speed upgrades. That is unlikely. There simply are not enough actual gigabit customers to affect national trends. Where gigabit and other speeds are sold, it seems unlikely that more than single digits worth of customers actually buy.

Instead, the key shift is upgrades by cable operators, particularly upgrades into the hundred-megabit range.


Mobile speeds also have grown by more than 30 percent since 2015 with an average download speed of 19.27 Mbps in the first six months of 2016.
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