Ookla Speedtest finds Comcast Xfinity is fastest broadband ISP in the US

Flickr via Mike Mozart. Click for original.

Comcast subscribers do not have much to brag about in the way of customer service—the ISP was voted Worst Company in America by Consumerist readers in 2010 and 2014—but when it comes to download speeds, its Xfinity service is tops in the US. That is according to Ookla's Speedtest data.

The 2017 US Market Report by Ookla is based on Speedtest intelligence data captured during the first half of 2017. During that time, over 26 million unique users performed more than 111 million tests with Ookla's online Speedtest tool.

Out of all those tests, Comcast Xfinity posted the top "Speed Score" of 69.58, which takes into consideration low-end, mean, and top-end performance for both downloads and uploads. Here is what Ookla says:

When analyzing fastest ISPs, we consider all ISPs with 3 percent or more of total test samples in the market for the period. We then determine the fastest ISP using Speed Score which incorporates a measure of each provider’s download and upload speed to rank network speed performance (90% of the final Speed Score is attributed to download speed and the remaining 10% to upload speed). The Speed Score uses a modified trimean to demonstrate the download and upload speeds that are available across a provider’s network. We take speeds from the 10th percentile, 50th percentile (also known as the median), and 90th percentile, and combine them in a weighted average using a 1:2:1 ratio, respectively. We place the most emphasis on the download speeds and median speeds as those represent what most network providers’ customers will experience on a day-to-day basis.

Using that methodology,  Comcast Infinity was able to edge out Verizon Fios, which scored 66.74. After that it was Cox at 64.85, Charter Spectrum at 51.45, AT&T Internet at 49.49, Frontier at 31.70, and CenturyLink at 14.91 Mbps.

"Over the past year, Xfinity has been aggressively seeding the market with advanced modems capable of bonding more channels, delivering a more consistent experience for customers," Ookla notes.

Ookla also credited Comcast with increasing the amount of DOCSIS 3.1 channels in order to deliver faster speeds to customers.

While encouraging, Comcast's ranking is marred by a history of poor customer service and implementing data caps in some areas. To its credit, the company announced in 2015 that it was creating 5,500 customer service jobs as part of a multi-year customer experience transformation. Comcast was also able to improve its score rankings in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, going from a score of 54 (out of 100) in 2016 to 62 in 2017. But as DSLReports noted earlier this year, its broadband service still ranks among the lowest in the industry. Comcast even has a lower satisfaction ranking than the IRS.

In looking at all ISPs in the US, the average download speed came to 64.17 Mbps, which only ranks 15 in the world for downloads. Uploads averaged 22.79 Mbps, ranking the US 24th in upload speeds.