How can you find out if you’re getting the internet speeds you pay for?

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – How can you know if you’re getting the internet speeds you’re paying for?

It was announced Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission and six states, including North Carolina, filed a civil lawsuit alleging internet service provider Frontier Communications misled consumers by providing slower internet speeds than promised.

Everybody who uses the internet has complained at one time or another about the speed of their service, but not everyone knows how to improve it. 

For most people, the internet is just a thing that’s there and we don’t know how it does what it does. 

Elle Ferebee said she didn’t know how to test her internet speed or if she was getting the internet speed she pays for. She also said she notices sometimes her internet is slow.

During the pandemic, everybody was together and all using the internet from home at the same time. What speeds do people need?

“Speed on the internet depends on what they do,”  said Craig Petronella, an internet security specialist with the Petronella Technology Group.  “A lot of people work from home, so the demands are greater than ever.”

He said many speed issued could come from the router.

 “I recommend investing in your own equipment because often the wireless transmitter that comes with a provider’s router often isn’t powerful enough,” Petronella said.

Internet speeds should be tested, too. Fast.com offers an easy click-and-go speed check.

Download speeds of 100 megabytes or higher are considered fast because they’ll handle multiple online activities for multiple users simultaneously without major interruptions in service.

“When testing speed, connect directly to the modem or router to get the most accurate speed,” Petronella said. 

The FCC also wants to know about your internet speed. There is an app that can be downloaded onto phones and other devices. The app provides a way to test the performance of mobile and in-home broadband networks.

To protect your privacy and confidentiality, the app anonymously sends internet speed information to the FCC. The agency will use that information to help close the digital divide in the United States.

Meanwhile, more and more folks are keeping an eye on their internet speed. 

“I look for upload speed and download speed,” said Chip Hessenflow, who checks his internet speed. “It’s pretty consistent for what I’m paying for.”

If you test repeatedly and find your internet speeds are way below what you are paying for, you can complain to your provider. 

There’s also a legal avenue you can take. In North Carolina, you can report it to the attorney general’s office.

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