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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 27, 2010 at 5:00 AM

New ISP rank and cost data from Ookla, Comcast on top

Ookla – the company behind the popular Speedtest.net and Pingtest.net broadband testing services – is now using its massive trove of data to rank Internet service providers.

Ookla’s been providing data through its Net Index site but now it’s offering more information to help consumers analyze their broadband options, co-founder Mike Apgar said in the announcement.

“The new ISP ranking data takes a giant step in that direction, further

empowering consumers for the first time with rich data that helps evaluate ISP

performance close to home or throughout the world,” he said in the release.

Apgar led Seattle broadband provider Speakeasy before launching Ookla in 2006. Ookla – which has offices in Seattle and his hometown of Kalispell, Mont. – is now handling more than a million tests a day at Speedtest.net.

In the company’s initial ISP ranking, Comcast has the fastest download speeds among U.S. residential providers, followed by Charter, Optimum Online, MidContinent Communications and Road Runner, according to Ookla’s announcement.

When ranked by upload speeds, the top providers are Surewest Broadband, Verizon Internet Service, AT&T Worldnet, Comcast and Cox.

Ookla’s also building an index of broadband costs that so far suggests that residential broadband in the U.S. costs an average of $47.32 per month, and $5.06 per megabits per second of downlaod speed.

Based on download speeds, broadband in California costs $4.24 per Mbps compared to $8.80 per Mbps in Idaho and $3.89 per Mbps in Washington, according to the release.

UPDATE: Reader Alexander noted that Comcast’s “PowerBoost” feature gives it an advantage in the speed tests. The feature boosts the download speed of the first 10 megabits of a file, after which the download continues at a slower speed. The speed test captures activity affected by this boost.

It’s not all bad, though, since PowerBoost makes the connection “feel” faster, Alexander said.

Comments | More in | Topics: broadband, Broadband, ookla

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