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Americans' Satisfaction With Internet Service Providers Falls, Study Shows

Frustrated young woman staring down at her laptop screen.
Customer satisfaction was down in three of the four regions covered by J.D. Power's survey.
Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

What's happening

J.D. Power has released its annual study of Americans' satisfaction with their internet service providers. It echoes what the American Customer Satisfaction Index found in its June release: We ain't happy.

Why it matters

Access to the internet is increasingly vital to our daily lives. With broadband investments coming from President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill, we can expect more competition than we've seen in the past.

When the American Customer Satisfaction Index in June announced its numbers for the broadband industry, we noted that internet service providers landed at the very bottom of all industries surveyed. Well, the news isn't much better with the release last week of a study from J.D. Power

American consumers are less satisfied with their ISP than they were a year ago, the study found, based on responses from nearly 23,000 people from November 2021 to August 2022. The study breaks the country into four regions: East, North Central, South and West. Scores declined in three out of the four regions.

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The survey scores providers on a 1,000-point scale and tracks customer satisfaction of residential service in five areas: 

  • Billing and payment
  • Communications and promotions
  • Cost of service
  • Customer care
  • Performance and reliability

Verizon took the top spot in the East region with a score of 758 (the same score it garnered last year), while the region's average score dipped from 714 to 707. Cable provider Midco ranked highest in the North Central area, with a 734 score (which dropped from last year's 754), and the average for the region dropped from 712 to 700. AT&T nabbed the pole position in the West region with a 729, a point better than last year's 728. However, the average score for the West took a hit from 710 down to 701. 

Chart showing J.D. Power ISP numbers in the South region.

The only region where scores didn't decline was in the South, where AT&T took the top spot.

J.D. Power

The one area that showed progress over last year's numbers was the South region, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. An average score of 727 last year rose to 730 in 2022. AT&T was the top scorer in this region with 761, the highest score of any provider across the survey. 

When you combine these findings with the results from ACSI's summer release, it's clear the industry is missing the mark when it comes to people's expectations. That discontent is fueling newcomers, like T-Mobile Home Internet, which did not show up in this J.D. Power survey but made a splash in the ACSI report at the No. 2 spot in just its first year. Its simplicity and straightforward pricing seem to resonate.

Or, as Ian Greenblatt, managing director at J.D. Power, said in a press release: "With customers being least satisfied with cost of service, a consistent experience at a reasonable price is table stakes for providers."

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