U.S. broadband speeds rise in 2009

The average broadband download speed is up 28 percent, while upload speed increases 16 percent over 2008, according to a new survey from In-Stat.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Broadband download speeds in the U.S. rose 28 percent last year, while upload speeds increased 16 percent compared with the previous year, according to a report released Tuesday by In-Stat.

The average broadband download speed in the U.S. is now 7.12 megabits per second, while the average upload speed is 2.42Mbps, according to the report "US Residential Broadband Speeds Accelerate," based on an In-Stat survey. In 2009, cable modem and wireless users saw the highest gains in bandwidth. The jump in broadband speed for cable subscribers was about double that for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) customers.

Although 2009's boost in speed was respectable, the gain was lower than in 2008 when download performance rose 47 percent to hit an average 5.58Mbps.

Across all the different broadband technologies, FTTH services such as Verizon's Fios, offered the speediest performance, followed by cable modems.


Among the residential customers surveyed, 86 percent said they grab their broadband access through a cable modem or DSL. Most seem happy with the performance, with 79 percent saying they were "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with their connection. The average price paid for broadband service was $39.22.

In-Stat also found that many broadband users are becoming more savvy about the speeds they're getting versus the speeds they should be getting.

"Today's broadband service subscriber is becoming increasingly aware of the capabilities, and the limitations, of their broadband connection," said In-Stat analyst Mike Paxton in a statement. "More and more broadband subscribers know the speed of their broadband connections--or at least they know the speed claims made by their broadband service provider."

To compile the report, In-Stat questioned 535 residential customers about their broadband services in December. Those surveyed were asked about the type of service they use, their upload and download speeds, their level of satisfaction with their provider, and how much they paid per month, among other questions.