Davis Makes Top 10 List Among Fast Internet Cities In California
UC Davis students can no longer say a slow Internet connection was responsible for a late term paper.

According to Speedtest.net, the college town ranks third on a list of ten California cities for Internet download speeds and fourth for Internet upload speeds. Davis is one of several Northern California cities in the top 10 list, which also lists Rohnert Park, Cupertino and Milpitas among fast Internet cities.

Stanford tops out at number one on the list, boasting the fastest Internet download and upload speeds in the state.

"Download speeds" refers to the speed of files being download to a computer or browser -- an example of which would be watching a YouTube video or saving an e-mail attachment to your computer. "Upload speeds" refer to the upload of files to a computer server -- an example of which would be uploading a video to YouTube or sending an e-mail attachment to a friend.

Among Sacramento's fastest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for download speeds, Comcast Cable comes in second only to its business-class Internet service, while SureWest Broadband comes in fourth. The State of California, while not commercially available to residents, is listed as third. For upload speeds, the results are flipped, with SureWest beating out Comcast. AT&T, which provides Internet service through DSL and fiber-optic lines under the "UVerse" name, ranked number seven in upload speeds but failed to chart for download speeds.

Many things can affect download and upload speeds for any given area, including the number of customers attached to an ISP's server within a particular region. UC Davis and Stanford University, along with other schools and businesses, usually are their own ISPs, thereby freeing up bandwidth to be used by customers that live in the region.

How much a customer pays on their bill can also affect the speed of their service -- for instance, AT&T's basic DSL plan costs around $20 monthly at 1.5Mbps download, with packages that offer faster speeds starting at $5 more per month. Comcast's basic economy Internet plan costs around $25 monthly at 1Mbps download, with packages that increase by $20 or more for significantly faster Internet service.