The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued the results of its Measuring Broadband America February 2013 broadband speed and reliability testing for residential broadband service.

The study based on data collected in September 2012 measured the speed and performance of 14 of the largest Internet service providers nationwide. And, according to the FCC, most of them are either meeting or exceeding their advertised connection speeds.

This third broadband report released on Feb. 15 was in conjunction with SamKnows, an independent company that tests broadband performance. Once again, the FCC gave the industry high marks for fulfilling promises made to consumers.

On average, ISPs are delivering 97 percent of advertised speeds during the peak usage hours of 7 to 11 p.m. weekdays. This is a 1 percent increase in broadband performance based on last FCC report released in July 2012.

“This is good news for consumers and the economy, but we can’t be satisfied,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a prepared statement. “To unleash innovation and realize broadband’s full potential, we must continue to see increases in broadband speed and capacity.”

The overall results from this latest FCC report remained “materially” unchanged from the previous report with one exception, Frontier Communications, which has improved its performance 13 percent from the last testing period.

Based on the results of this report, the FCC made three primary observations to start 2013:

1. Many ISPs continue to closely meet or exceed the speeds they advertise.

2. Consumers are continuing to migrate to faster speed tiers.

3. Satellite broadband has made significant improvements in service quality.

Encouragingly, as the FCC notes in the second point above, consumers have sustained their migration to higher speed services – and appear willing to pay for it. In this report for the first time the FCC tested download speeds as high as 75 Mbps with even higher rates now are being offered by service providers.

Also, this was the first time the FCC has included results on satellite technology (as noted in observation No. 3), which was based on data collected by ViaSat.

The providers that participated in this latest report included AT&T; Cablevision Systems; CenturyLink; Charter Communications; Comcast; Cox Communications; Frontier; Insight Communications; Mediacom; Qwest Communications (which is now CenturyLink); TimeWarner Cable; Verizon; Windstream Communications; and ViaSat.

Collectively, these companies account for 80 percent of all U.S. residential broadband internet connections.

The results of this report are based on 13 separate measurements that can be used to characterize various aspects of broadband performance to the consumer. The ISPs that participated in the study agreed to base the report on a month of data, and participants agreed to September 2012 as the test month.

This report on Consumer Wireline Broadband Performance in the U.S. was compiled through the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.