Cayuga County is far from Silicon Valley and the headquarters for Facebook, Google and other tech giants. But, according to a PCMag.com study examining the fastest internet service providers, its largest city is the best place to live if you want fast internet speeds.
Auburn is ranked No. 1 among U.S. cities with the fastest internet speeds. PCMag's study is based on speed tests completed by the publication's readers from June 1 to June 17. The speed tests measure download and upload speeds, then PCMag calculated an index score representing 80% of the download speed and 20% of the upload speed.
Auburn's index score was 805.2 — more than 160 points higher than the runner-up, Chevy Chase, Maryland.
PCMag found the download speed in Auburn was 825.2 megabits per second and the upload speed was 725.2 megabits per second. Both are much higher than the nationwide broadband standard set by the Federal Communications Commission, which defines broadband as a minimum of 25 megabits per second for downloads and 3 megabits per second for uploads.
The main driver of Auburn's speeds, according to PCMag, was the availability of Verizon Fios. The FCC's fixed broadband deployment page confirms what PCMag found — that Verizon Fios' speeds are much higher than its competitors.
In the Auburn area, the FCC reports that Verizon Fios has download speeds of 940 megabits per second and upload speeds of 880 megabits per second. Charter Communications, the company that owns Spectrum and provides internet service to many residents in and around the city, has download speeds of 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of 10 megabits per second.
A spokesperson for PCMag said all internet service providers were considered when calculating Auburn's index score. But there is a trend with cities that have Verizon Fios finishing atop the publication's rankings.
In 2018, Potomac, Maryland held the top spot. Verizon Fios is available in Potomac.
"For 2019, Fios powers another town to great heights," PCMag reporter Eric Griffith wrote. "With a PCMag Speed Index of astronomical proportions at 805.2, the small city of Auburn, N.Y., is clearly the place to live if you want the fastest service you can get."