Thinking of switching phone or cable/internet companies? See this before you decide.
We’ve all wondered which wireless carrier has the fastest speed where we live. We’ve probably all wondered if the neighbor’s across the street have faster home internet than we do. Now there is a way to find out.
The FCC rolled out its updated broadband and LTE maps after months of gathering information from providers as well as consumers.
To find out which providers offer the best speeds you simply type in your address. The entire country is mapped. When I entered my home address I could see all of the available fixed broadband internet providers and what speeds they deliver. If Comcast, AT&T, Hughes, and Viasat are in your neighborhood and available at your address you’ll be able to see the speeds they offer. If you’re not getting the fastest speed available you should shop around unless you’re happy with what you have.
As consumers add more smart home devices, gaming systems, mobile devices, and other gadgets that connect to your home’s WiFi, faster speeds are necessary to keep everything connected at high speed.
The FCC also released a new map of LTE services across the country. This map compares the speeds of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular. The broadband map is color-coded to make it easier to see which companies deliver LTE on your street and it can vary from street to street or even house to house.
Speeds vary from street to street and even house to house
For example, a search of a relative’s address showed AT&T’s LTE Network was not available at their home but just 4 doors down, their neighbors could access the LTE network when outside on their phone and off of their WiFi network.
It’s worth checking out if you’re consistently finding you’re not getting a great connection. The wireless map only shows available LTE networks, not speeds while the fixed broadband maps show available to upload and download speeds.
Improving the nation’s broadband availability is a priority of this administration’s FCC and became even more important during the pandemic when so many people were working from home and doing virtual learning in schools. High-speed internet is no longer just a “nice thing to have”, it’s a necessity and the FCC is working to improve high-speed networks in rural areas.
The FCC earlier released a speed test app where consumers can test their home and wireless internet speeds and report it back to the commission which is one source of the information in the maps. You can find the FCC Speed Test app in Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store.
You can also use the app to ensure you’re getting the internet speeds you pay for. If your fixed broadband provider advertises 1GB download speeds and you’re only getting have that you should contact them.