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Upstate New York Broadband Rankings Out: Rochester Ranks Last in Speed and Value

Phillip Dampier April 6, 2011 Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Frontier, Time Warner Cable, Verizon No Comments

In an upstate New York match-up, the Rochester/Finger Lakes region scored dead last in broadband speed and value, according to data from Broadband.com.

Why are broadband speeds so much lower in the Flower City?  Blame Frontier Communications, which continues to pitch its decade-old DSL product, delivering an average speed of 4.45Mbps, while other upstate cities enjoy access and competition from Verizon’s fiber to the home network FiOS.  Frontier DSL actually often costs more, after taxes and fees, than Time Warner Cable’s much-faster cable broadband product, Road Runner, which rates an average download speed of 12.77Mbps in Rochester.  Frontier does manage to pull one win — higher upload speed DSL providers can often achieve in cities where cable operators keep upstream speeds as low as possible.

Time Warner Cable has dragged its feet upgrading broadband service in the area to its DOCSIS 3 platform other upstate cities have had since last year.  DOCSIS 3 should arrive within the next 4-8 weeks, which should boost broadband speeds, but may not deliver lower broadband prices because of Frontier’s uncompetitiveness in the area.

 

(Source: Broadband.com)

The top city in upstate New York for download speed is the state capital, Albany.  But Buffalo wins the contest for upload speed thanks to aggressive competition for Time Warner from Verizon in the Queen City.  Buffalo also pays the least for service — nearly $5 less per month than residents in Rochester pay on average.  Syracuse scores in the middle — but closer in terms of speed and value to other Verizon-served cities.

Slow and expensive broadband service can hamper economic development and costs consumers more.  Unfortunately, there are no signs Frontier Communications has plans to do anything differently in its largest service area — a classic driver of the accelerating number of customers calling to pull the plug on their landline service.

Time Warner Cable's Road Runner vs. Frontier Communications' DSL (Speeds are downstream/upstream; Source: Broadband.com)

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  • Ernesto Honez: Was that a confirmed and signed "contract"? Was it verbal? Was it sent out in a letter as bulk mailing, or with a first class stamp? Was it's delivery...
  • Matt: I just got off the phone with AT&T. I called saying that I found a promotion through Time Warner for $34.99 for 15 mbps and I am trying to cut dow...
  • Phillip Dampier: It first went to a handful of test markets in upstate New York (not Rochester) and then has been redesignated as a feature enhancement in Maxx markets...
  • Steve Rea: Any idea when the new DVR is coming to Rochester? I remember a story you posed over 2 years ago from the CEO of TWC at the time! saying it was comi...
  • AustinTX: James, my suggestion would be to switch to TWC rental modems, and fry 2-3 of them over the course of several weeks by running 24v AC into the coax con...
  • Dragos: For 1Gbps in Romania we pay around 12 EUR (VAT included - 24%). http://www.rcs-rds.ro/internet-digi-net/fiberlink?t=internet-fix&pachet=digi_ne...
  • James R Curry: Hey, Phillip - While not related to Comcast directly -- I rent my modem from TWC, and while I'd rather buy one outright, there's one big factor ...
  • Sean: I believe that there are issues intermixing DOSCIS 2/3 modems on a node. It's been about 5 years since I've worked with a CMTS so I am by no means an...
  • AustinTX: Yep, this isn't about "your old modem isn't capable of the wonderful new speeds we're providing to your service tier", it's about "we know your custom...
  • MJ Lee: This is strange. I did get a letter from Time Warner saying my apartment was qualified for Time Warner Cable Maxx, but when I applied for it, I got an...
  • Tim: You know this is overstating the case ... unlimited data adsl2 plans are available from $60 in Australia. Average price is about $90...
  • Phillip Dampier: I think 10/Gbps is available in the USA as well, on an obscenely expensive metro Ethernet or commercial fiber link provisioned by a telecom company. ...

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