For wired internet, Rogers had an average 27.2 Mbps download speed. On the wireless side, the Rogers LTE network delivered the highest speeds in six Canadian markets including Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, London and the Niagara region.
PCMag.com Features Editor Eric Griffith led the “Fastest ISP” project while Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan ran the “Fastest Mobile Networks” search. We had a chance to ask them about the tests, fast networks and the growth of the industry.
What factors do you consider when ranking networks?
Eric: It’s helpful for both readers and providers to know how ISPs stack up against their competition. We factor the average upload and download speed into an index number (based on 20 per cent upload and 80 per cent download) to get a quantifiable measurement for all the providers.
Sascha: We measure speed and reliability. We upload and download data, surf to web pages and keep an eye on how often the connections drop or stall.
What were your findings?
Eric: After eight months of testing using our speedtest site, we found that in Canada, Rogers had the highest download speed by far. That pushed its index rating to 22.2–well above the rest of the major, national ISPs.
Sascha: Urban Canada has very fast networks, on average faster than American networks. The three major Canadian carriers have been very aggressive at rolling out LTE and advanced technologies like Category 4 LTE.
Why do network speeds matter to consumers?
Eric: The Internet is getting more and more bandwidth intensive—just look at the traffic attributed to Youtube and other media streaming sites. The more speed a customer can eke out, the happier they’ll be.
Sascha: People get frustrated when it takes too long to get their information. And more and more people are using mobile networks for media streaming, and for uploading photos and videos. Those demand consistent, fast connections to operate properly.
What advantage does the customer get by being on the fastest network?
Eric: No delays—nothing annoys more than waiting. People expect video on the Internet to be as instant as the text they read or the shows on their TV. Only with a high-bandwidth pipe is that possible.
Sascha: The goal is seamlessness. With the fastest network, you don’t have to worry about when and whether your app will download or your movie will play. It just does.
How do you take advantage of the new network speeds available?
Eric: The best way to take advantage of the fastest network speeds: use it. You’ve got a pipe to the single greatest repository of information ever created by mankind. Use it often and constantly.
Sascha: You need a phone which supports a fast network. Right now, for instance, Rogers has three levels of LTE phones available. iPhones have LTE, but they don’t support the 2600Mhz band which supplements speeds in big cities. The sweet spot right now is with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, which have that faster 2600Mhz band. And we’re starting to see even faster phones like the LG G2, which support Category 4 for even faster speeds.