Ah, Brooklyn. The metropolitan culture of New York City paired with the Internet connectivity of a rural area. At least, that’s how it can feel when you move here from a less crowded city. Out in the underserved blocks of Bushwick and Williamsburg, the tantalizing promise of fiber feels more like a carrot on a stick than an infrastructure plan. (Only 62% have home fiber access, as of this writing).
And it’s no surprise — census block maps of overlapping Internet coverage in the area confirm that most residents only have access to three or four providers. Factor in shady landlords and wiring issues, and it looks more like one or two “options.”
Close-ups of this data map show that Internet infrastructure varies from block to block. If you’ve ever been in the position of sitting around waiting for FiOS while your neighbors have had it for years, you know how frustrating this disparity can be:
This data shows that farther-flung lower-income neighborhoods like Bushwick are typically given fewer options for Internet. This is presumably since it’s in a company’s interest to concentrate on more affluent areas, where customers are more likely to consistently pay higher monthly prices.
Still, we wanted to know — coverage and availability aside, what Internet speeds do our neighbors actually get?
Surprisingly, information about speed and availability in Brooklyn neighborhood is hard to come by. After all, it’s in the company’s’ interest to keep people in the dark about how advertised speeds compare to actual performance. So, we decided to dig into the speed test data from the Brooklyn area and get some answers. Rather than showing the “promised” speeds from Internet providers, these results show the real-world performance people actually get in 2017.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of the neighborhoods that performed well were also neighborhoods that have large and active tech scenes, or serve as popular home bases for those populations.
While it’s impossible to draw sweeping conclusions from speed test data, fluctuations in speed varying from 100 Mbps all the way up to the gigabit range suggest that some neighborhoods have wide access to fiber, while others do not. (Incidentally, FiOS is currently fighting a lawsuit with the city for allegedly failing to honor their side of a universal coverage agreement.)
Here are the 10 fastest internet speeds in Brooklyn by neighborhood.
Top 10 Fastest Internet Speeds in Brooklyn by Neighborhood
#1: Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Brooklyn Navy Yard
Density of Internet Provider competition in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
90th Percentile Average speed: 215.36 Mbps
Fastest Recorded Speed: 800.63 Mbps
Tech Presence: Fort Greene’s roost at the top of this list is no surprise, given the unusual density of startups and tech companies in the area. According to a map from Digital NYC, Fort Greene has more tech startups than most other Brooklyn neighborhoods put together. Only Dumbo beats them out in terms of number of tech offices, although we were surprised to see Dumbo’s zip code down at #5 when it comes to download speed performance.
- Charter Spectrum
- Verizon Fios
- Xchange Telecom