Your experience may vary: AT&T, FairPoint, Verizon network differences drive latency, other performance issues

Sean Buckley, FierceTelecomWith a bevy of choices available to get broadband service, consumers and businesses are more closely looking at wireline operators' network performance.

In FierceTelecom's new report, Verizon, Consolidated take lead in Q3 network latency, throughput and availability, while FairPoint and Frontier lag, we examine the performance of seven of the top telco wireline networks through a partnership with Cedexis, a provider of Internet measurement and real-time performance optimization solutions.

We looked at three main elements of wireline network performance: latency, throughput and availability. All of these parameters were measured across the entire United States.

Given the diversity of the networks we covered in the report, the performance of the service providers varied.  

Take the latency metric, for example. In this segment, the lower the latency the better the performance is.

The latency segment was led by Consolidated and Verizon, which saw 40.6 and 44.01 milliseconds of latency. On the opposite end of the latency spectrum, FairPoint and Frontier showed the highest latency averages with 58.5 and 63 milliseconds, respectively. 

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) also scored high terms of network throughput and availability. Cedexis' calculations revealed that Verizon was the clear leader in the throughput category with 7.5 Mbps, while AT&T led with overall coverage in every region.

While the average user probably does not measure these metrics every day, consumers and business customers will see an impact if their service provider's performance lags in any of these areas.

A retail business customer could lose business and daily revenues if their Internet connection speed throughput is poor and it can't complete basic cash register transactions. Likewise, a consumer who wants to stream the latest Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) original series will see a poor quality of experience if their last mile connection has low throughput and high latency.

Similar to FierceWireless' latency report, FierceTelecom plans on working with Cedexis to bring our readers a regular update on these three metrics on a quarterly basis.

Please take a look at our new report and let us know what you think in the comments section.--Sean

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