The American Customer Satisfaction Index released its annual survey, based on more than 22,000 customer interviews, revealing how we really feel about our internet service providers — ISPs scored a 68 on a scale of zero to 100, which isn’t all that exciting. If you get a 68 on your math test, you’re looking at a D+, which won’t exactly get you a spot on Mom’s fridge. But that’s before you realize that’s 6% better than 2022 and the highest the industry has earned in more than six years.
So, things are looking up, somewhat. ACSI’s 2022-2023 Telecom Survey shows numbers for ISPs rising for the first time since 2020. The not so good news? ISPs still rank near the bottom among all US industries. They managed to do worse than the US Postal Service, social media companies and cable television. At least this time the ISPs did better than the gas stations. I guess that’s progress.
Also of note, ACSI’s numbers for the first time differentiated fiber optic providers from non-cable providers. Fiber internet service providers posted a more impressive score of 75, while non-fiber providers posted a score of 66, which was still two points above last year’s numbers.
The ISP with the highest individual score was AT&T Fiberwho won 80. This helped him leapfrog Verizon Fioswhich increased over the year from 72 to 75 points, but found itself in fourth place with the new split lists. CenturyLink and Google Fiber took second and third place respectively in the optical Internet category.
The stronger performance of fiber internet is no surprise. Among all types of internet connectionCNET rated it the best for its superior speeds (several national ISPs already boast multi-gigabit plansand a The Chattanooga, Tennessee provider offers a whopping 25 Gbps), greater reliability (fewer impacts during peak usage) and upload speeds that are almost as fast as download speeds. This is especially important for people who work from home and need a lot of video conferencing and file uploads.
At first glance, fiber is really more expensive than cable internet. Some cable ISPs have starting prices around $25 to $30 per month, while many fiber optic providers start at $50. However, the speeds you get with fiber offset these costs, and users will often find that the cost per megabit is cheaper with fiber.
In the ACSI fiber-free ranking, T-Mobile Home Internet
, which debuted at number two in the combined rankings last year, topped the list with a rating of 73, up two points from last year’s impressive showing. The 5G fixed wireless the provider was also well above the 66 points scored on average for non-optical internet providers.
The other above-average ISPs in this category were AT&T Internet (72), sparkling light (71), Kinetic by Windstream (70) and Xfinity (68).
The lowest-scoring supplier among the companies named in the report was Optimally, which also had the distinction of being the only ISP whose score dropped from the previous year. It fell slightly from 59 to 58.
ACSI’s broadband figures, which show much higher ratings for fiber service than other types of internet connections, reflect the findings of a recent OpenSignal Broadband Experience Report, which named Verizon Fios as the provider with the best consistency of service. This survey also named AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber (the top three in the ACSI survey) as the second and third place winners. Fiber for the win again.
It will be interesting to see what the latest is JD Power Survey says of the home Internet industry when it releases its annual results in the fall.