Since the FCC declared in 2009 that average actual download speeds for U.S. broadband services were about half as fast as advertised maximum speeds, the nation’s major Internet service providers (ISPs) have boosted actual speeds up to 80% or more of advertised rates, said the agency in its first-ever Measuring Broadband America report issued on Tuesday. Measuring the performance of 13 major cable, digital subscriber line (DSL) and fiber-based ISPs, the report builds upon recommendations laid out in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and is intended to assist consumers in comparing speeds and services offered by each provider and in selecting the ISP that will best fit their needs. Unveiling the report’s findings at a Best Buy store in Washington, D.C., FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski observed that “most major ISPs are providing service close to what they’re advertising,” which “represents a significant improvement over the findings from two years ago when we first shined a light on this issue.” While acknowledging “considerable variation among the ISPs tested,” the report asserts that, during periods of peak usage between 7 PM and 11 PM local time, “the majority of ISPs were providing actual speeds that were generally 80% or better than advertised rates.” Verizon Communications’ fiber-based FiOS service ranked as the best performer among the 13 providers, delivering actual download speeds during peak and non-peak periods that were measured at 114% of the carrier’s advertised rate. Although Cablevision was shown to be the slowest performer with actual speeds tallied at 54% of the company’s advertised rate during peak periods, the report found that, during peak times, real-world speeds of DSL providers averaged 82% of advertised speeds while cable providers delivered an average of 93% of their advertised speeds. In addition to Verizon and Cablevision, other participants in the study include AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Frontier Communications, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom, Qwest Communications, and Windstream Corp. As a Verizon executive asserted that the report “gives the FCC and consumers a snapshot of today’s competitive broadband marketplace,” Richard Bennett, a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, declared that the report “pretty well dispels the myth . . . that there’s a huge gap between advertised and actual speeds, and in fact we do pretty well here in the United States.”