According to research from telecom equipment maker VIAVI, Chicago and California are the United States’ top Gigabit speed city and state.
VIAVI – formerly JDSU – found that Gigabit speed services are available to more than 8.5 million people in California and more than 6 million people in The Windy City.
The growth of Gigabit speed connectivity raises a host of challenges.
“While the overall picture of the United States’ Gigabit health is robust, such a jump in connectivity speed comes with significant delivery challenges,” said Sameh Yamany, the Chief Technology Officer of VIAVI Solutions in a press release.
“In particular, service and field technicians need to acquire more complex skills with additional training to be able to test and troubleshoot high-speed connectivity issues. . . Service providers need to take steps to ensure that their network testing and maintenance practices allow them to follow through on the Gigabit speed promise.”
Overall, according to VIAVI, 57.5 million consumers in the United States have Gigabit speed services available to them. That’s the highest number in the world. The U.S. is followed by South Korea, Turkey and Canada in terms of numbers of people with gigabit speed availability.
The 57.5 million number for the U.S. represents 18% of the population. Although the number of people connected is lower, several countries have a higher percentage of people with gigabit availability, including Singapore (95%), South Korea (93%), Moldova (90%) and Portugal (64%).
Comcast is ranked as the fastest ISP in the States, achieving a “Speed Score” of 69.58 the report says. It determines this via “a modified trimean to demonstrate the download and upload speeds that are available across a provider’s network.”
“Comcast’s XFINITY Internet is the fastest ISP in the U.S., achieving a Speed Score of 69.58 and providing faster speeds to their users than the other major providers in the U.S. during Q1-Q2 2017,” notes the report.
“Over the past year, XFINITY has been aggressively seeding the market with advanced modems capable of bonding more channels, delivering a more consistent experience for customers.”
If VIAVI’s data and data released last week based on FCC research both are accurate, Gigabit speed connectivity has jumped during the past year. The USTelecom and CensusNBM, working with data from the FCC, estimated that 10% of housing units in the United States could reach 1 Gbps speeds as of 2016.