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Slow as molasses: Carriers in Denver lag behind nationwide data speeds

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Posted at 5:12 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 19:12:23-04

DENVER - Many Americans are chained to their cell phones, pulling them out anytime they need an answer to seemingly pressing questions, like 'who invented pizza?'

However, Coloradans tend to wait longer than cell phone users in other states to get Google search results as network data speeds seem to be a constant challenge.

Denver consistently ranks near the bottom or dead last in mobile download speed surveys. In a recent analysis, RootMetrics recorded median download speeds below 10.0 Mbps on all four carriers. To put that in perspective, median speeds in some cities reach as high as 41 Mbps.

Although Denver receives slower data, RootMetrics told Denver7 that the Mile High City is fairly saturated with LTE coverage. Denver is still faster than each carriers’ slowest markets, the company said.

Why is Denver always stuck in the slow lane despite the fact that all four major carriers have invested in mobile technologies in the Denver area? Mountains and people — too many of those things may be the answer.

It’s no secret Denver is experiencing a population boom, and those new residents are certainly adding stress on the network. Geography also plays a role, RootMetrics said. The beautiful and majestic Rocky Mountains don’t play so nice with radio waves.

Who’s the boss in Denver? All four carriers claim to have the fastest network, but only one can be crowned king. Sprint won the Data RootScore Award outright in Denver with a median download speed in the city of 9.8Mbps. RootMetrics performed the test during the first half of 2016.

Do certain devices help or hurt download speeds? According to RootMetrics, certain phones can contribute to a better connection, but they say the best thing is for consumers to have a better understanding of how carriers perform in the areas that are most important to them.

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