Comcast has finally reached the pinnacle of success. After hovering in second or third place for more than a year, the cable giant eventually overcame all of its competitors to claim the fastest median download speed in Ookla‘s Q4 2022 rating of fixed broadband providers.
According to Ookla, Comcast’s Xfinity service achieved a median download speed of 226.18 Mbps in the third quarter, just beating out Charter Communications (225.33 Mbps) and Cox Communications (225.33 Mbps) (212.37 Mbps). Altice USA’s Optimum service (190.82 Mbps) and AT&T Internet rounded out the top three (187.08).
Verizon, which had previously held the number one spot for three consecutive quarters (Q3 2021 through Q1 2022), slipped all the way to sixth place. While Comcast was able to dramatically increase its speed from the median rate of 175.86 Mbps it posted in Q4 2021, Verizon’s actually fell from 201.10 Mbps to 183.25 Mbps over the same period. The cause for Verizon’s slide was unclear.
AT&T was the quickest in 21 of the 100 most populous cities in the United States, followed by Xfinity with 16, Spectrum with 15, and Cox with 10. Verizon was the fastest in nine major metro areas, with Allo, Buckeye CableSystem, Elite Fiber, Frontier, GCI, MetroNet, Rocket Fiber, Sonic, Sparklight, USI, and Wyyerd each securing first place in one. The rankings were too close to call for an additional 12 cities.
In Q4 2021, Charter was the quickest in 17, with AT&T and Cox both taking the top spot in 14, Comcast in 13, and Verizon in nine.
In terms of upload rates, fibre providers such as AT&T and Verizon led the pack with median upload speeds of 142.76 Mbps and 104.89 Mbps, respectively. Cable upload speeds lagged well behind, with Altice USA leading the way with 29.77 Mbps. Comcast came in second with 20.42 Mbps, followed by Charter and Cox with 11.77 and 10.71 Mbps, respectively. Of course, fibre providers have recently pushed symmetrical speeds, whilst cable operators, for the most part, continue to focus on asymmetrical offers.
Brennen Smith, Ookla’s VP of Technology, told Fierce “With the growing growth of content generation and streaming, upload performance is becoming increasingly vital to consumer connectivity. People want to create higher-quality content, but upload performance and consistency serve as a bottleneck to creation. Upload performance is also critical for business cases such as video conferencing, remote work, and edge data processing. Finally, for future connected experiences such as VR/AR and industrial IoT, consistent upload performance will be essential in bringing these new opportunities to reality.”