Our favorite online speed testing site, Ookla's SpeedTest.net, today published aggregated results showing the fastest ISPs and mobile network operators in the United States.
SpeedTest.net conducts over five million tests each day, providing the "most comprehensive view of worldwide internet performance" - looking at both fixed and wireless connections.
The interactive results viewer can be accessed here.
You can view aggregate results by state and by major city to dial in for a closer look - and you definitely should, since the results vary dramatically in different areas.
T-Mobile The Speed King?
In the nationwide rankings, T-Mobile comes out on top - even besting Verizon.
This matches our own informal experience. Where T-Mobile has coverage, its speeds do indeed tend to be stellar.
But the catch with T-Mobile is finding LTE coverage.
The SpeedTest.net rankings only take into account LTE speeds, and areas where only 2G, 3G, 4G, or roaming connections are possible are NOT counted in the results. Verizon has upgraded the substantial bulk of its nationwide networks to LTE technology, but AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint still have large areas that have not yet gone LTE at all. Results from these area are not counted in the SpeedTest.net rankings - and if they were they would likely skew the results.
Nationwide - T-Mobile's network coverage area lags substantially behind Verizon and AT&T, and even in the areas where T-Mobile does have coverage it often tends to have more "swiss cheese" holes than the big two networks.
For nomads, this makes T-Mobile hard to recommend as the sole network on board - despite the many advantages.
But this speed crown is yet another great reason to consider having T-Mobile on board as a secondary.
Sprint on the other hand... Last place is just embarrassing for a network with seemingly nothing else special to offer.