Comcast performed well in an Internet speed study released Wednesday, but the federal report could still be a blow to the cable giant's plan to buy Time Warner Cable.
The Federal Communications Commission report found that DSL continues to lag behind other Internet service options such as cable and fiber, calling into question just how competitive the broadband market really is.
A key argument that Comcast is making for why it should be allowed to buy Time Warner Cable is that consumers have an array of other choices for Internet service. The Justice Department and FCC are currently reviewing whether the merger of the top two cable companies would illegally suppress competition.
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year, David Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president, said DSL providers are "formidable broadband competitors."
"While some may scoff at the competitive viability of DSL service, market realities and investments by telcos in DSL technology that have led to increased DSL speeds rebut those concerns," Cohen said.
While the report found that many Internet services have gotten faster in recent years, DSL providers showed "little or no improvement in maximum speeds."