USA Fixed Broadband Experience Report November 2022

November 2022

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing network experience. Opensignal reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience users receive on all types of connection.

Real-world experience
Scientific analysis
Robert Wyrzykowski, Andrey Popov, Sam Fenwick, Francesco Rizzato

Key Findings

Fixed broadband in the U.S. is undergoing rapid development and modernization

Consumers have more choice of broadband providers than ever before. Now, cable companies and incumbent telephone companies face competition from new fiber overbuilders and fixed wireless players using the latest 5G technology.

5G fixed wireless access (FWA) players are typically middle of the pack across the six essential measures of fixed broadband experience

Incumbent cable and telecom companies typically comfortably beat the new entrant 5G FWA providers, at least for now.

In most markets, cable companies had the highest Broadband Download Speed scores

This success for cable providers — Spectrum, Xfinity, Optimum, and Cox — was despite the arrival of 5G- based fixed broadband. Fiber players are changing this situation, but in the 25 cities analyzed in this report they lead in a minority.

Providers often advertize maximum speeds that are very different to real-world experience

Claimed speeds are now as high as 2 Gbps or 5 Gbps, with 8 Gbps in 2023. In this report, Opensignal quantifies the experience of users based on real-world measurements.

In the peak time of day Broadband Consistent Quality scores tended to be lower

However, statistical differences between providers’ peak time and average Broadband Consistent Quality are uncommon.

Across many markets, it's the incumbent telephone companies that come top for Broadband Upload Speed

Such companies, for example AT&T, Frontier or Verizon, have substantial leads above the next best provider due to their extensive fiber-to-the-home footprints. Fiber-based players are far ahead of every other type of broadband technology in the Broadband Upload Speed experience category, which has grown in importance since the pandemic as more people work from home.

Fiber-to-the-home broadband providers also see difference between users’ average broadband download and upload speeds

compared with competitors using hybrid fiber coax (HFC), 5G fixed wireless, or telephone line-based digital subscriber line (xDSL) technologies.

Broadband Success Rate scores are similar in most markets, regardless of the underlying technology

In most cities we observed statistical ties between three or more providers. However, in Houston and San Diego there were clear differences in the extent to which Opensignal users could rely on their broadband connection working when they needed it.

Read the full report