Ookla’s fourth quarter 2023 Speedtest Intelligence report on fixed broadband found that cable companies held three of the four top spots for fastest download speeds, while the telcos turned the tables and had the three fastest upload speeds.

Cox led the pack on the download, with a median speed of 261.27 Mbps. It was followed by Charter Spectrum (252.71 Mbps), AT&T Internet (244.88 Mbps), Comcast Xfinity (238.90 Mbps), Frontier (221.01 Mbps), Altice Optimum (211.14 Mbps) and Verizon (202.21 Mbps).

AT&T Internet was fastest on the median upload side at 195.64 Mbps. It was followed by Frontier (185.07 Mbps), Verizon (102.27 Mbps), Cox (34.00 Mbps), Altice Optimum (29.80 Mbps), Comcast Xfinity (22.89 Mbps) and Charter Spectrum (15.60).

Perhaps the most striking element of the report is the drop off in upload speed — 68.27 Mbps — between the slowest telco (Verizon) and the fastest cable operator (Cox). This illustrates that the cable industry’s legacy of low-capacity upstream capabilities is not a thing of the past. The stark differential validates the move to DOCSIS 4.0 and its promise of faster upstream speeds.

The fourth quarter result also offered Ookla’s Video Score, a measure of providers’ video performance. Here the report found no statistical winner. Indeed, there was quite a log jam: Verizon was the best by a hair at 85.19 on a 100-point scale. It was followed by Frontier at 85.18, Comcast Xfinity (85.17), Cox (85.11), AT&T Internet (85.05), Altice Optimum (84.64), Charter Spectrum (84.24) and SpaceX Starlink (79.37).

The third quarter 2023 Speedtest report featured the same upload and download winners. In the download category, Cox was followed by Charter Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, AT&T Internet, Frontier, Altice Optimum and Verizon. On the upload side, AT&T Internet was followed by Frontier, Verizon, Cox, Altice Optimum, Comcast Xfinity and Charter Spectrum.

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