Cedexis is a provider of Internet connection and performance optimisation systems. They have just announced their first quarter 2016 Internet performance figures for a number of different wireline providers, these being Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Consolidated Communications, Fairpoint Communications, Frontier Communications of America, CenturyLink, and Windstream Communications. The three metrics that Cedexis have used are network latency, data throughput speeds and finally network availability. Each individual metric provides a useful comparison benchmark but all three should be considered in combination to determine the most effective Internet providers.
Latency is the term used to describe how long it takes for information to be sent from the handset to the site in question and then returned. It is usually measured in milliseconds and the lower the figure, the faster the network responds to a request. Networks with a lower latency but a slower data transfer rate can appear to be more responsive than those with a higher latency rate and a higher transfer rate, depending on what the user is doing. Here, Cedexis have included the 50th and 75th percentile performances of the network to show how customers' latency figures deteriorate when the provider has poor network performance. Cedexis' data shows that Frontier's performance was sluggish compared with the competition apart from the Pacific Northwest and Northeast regions. Consolidated and Verizon customers benefited from the lowest latency scores, under 40ms. Verizon's latency figure increased from 35.4 ms and Consolidated reduced from 50.2 ms compared with the previous quarter.
Data throughput is the most common way of determining how "fast" an Internet connection is and here again Cedexis uses 50th and 75th percentile data speeds as part of their assessment. Verizon and Consolidated performed well here showing over 7.5 Mbps. CenturyLink had varied result – in Southeast Kentucky it shows an especially fast network, but the 75th percentile data transfer figure is showing at 5.09 Mbps for the duration. AT&T's throughout figure is 5.18 Mbps with Windstream showing 3.9 Mbps, Fairpoint at 3.19 Mbps and Frontier at the rear with 2.87 Mbps.
The final metric for measuring the Internet connection is "network availability," that is, how reliable the connection is. Cedexis here measures this as a percentage of connection attempts. The results varied by provider and by region, but again Consolidated and Verizon have a strong showing – both networks tied with 99.8% availability, although Consolidated are only present in three regions. AT&T and CenturyLink were close behind with 99.7% availability. FairPoint managed 99.7% availability over the four states it offers service. Windstream shows a 99.8% availability across its network, but coverage is less comprehensive compared with Consolidated and Verizon. These three measurements can help customers decide on a service provider – although it is interesting that Consolidated and Verizon have a strong showing right across the board, with AT&T generally not so far behind.