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CFU Named Fastest Internet Service Provider

in the United States

by PC Magazine - Eric Griffith June 12, 2020


CFU Named Best Gaming Internet Service Provider in the United States in 2021

by PC Magazine - Eric Griffith December 10, 2020

By Eric Griffith     June 12, 2020  

With more Americans now working from home, residential internet speed is crucial. We've calculated the fastest ISPs, big and small, as well as the top providers by region, and the states and cities with the speediest internet.


With so many of us working from home due to COVID-19, the need for a speedy broadband connection is more important than ever. To see which internet service providers offer the most throughput, we take an annual look at the tests performed on our PCMag Speed Test. Let's dive in and see which ISP comes out on top.


PEOPLE & BUSINESSES of Cedar Falls, Iowa

The Fastest ISPs in the United States


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Never heard of CFU? That's probably because you don't live in Cedar Falls, Iowa, a city of around 39,000 people and home of the University of Northern Iowa (Go Panthers!). Short for Cedar Falls Utilities, CFU is the municipality-owned gas, power, water, and cable TV service—and it happens to provide incredible gigabit+ internet service to the community. We had enough tests from the area this year to prove it. If you're looking to relocate to work from home and want the best internet you may ever experience, consider becoming an Iowan.


Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, has the fastest average PCMag Speed Index we've ever seen. Even individual towns with fast speeds were never capable of this in our previous tests. (Pick your jaw up off the floor so you can start searching Zillow for house listings there.) Its PSI of 1,350.4 shows what's possible when your state doesn't block municipal ISPs that are part of a town/city utility. (They are blocked in about half of the US.)


There were some increases, like apartment/condo/school provider (and former Fastest ISPs winner) Hotwire, which jumped from 196.6 last year to 426.6 this year. But other previous winners saw a drop. Sonic won last year with an index of 610.6 but fell significantly to 415.5. Google Fiber's all-time best of 305.1 in 2019 tumbled to 250.2 this year. Nextlight also dropped a few digits. The only one of the nation's "major" ISPs to make this list is Verizon Fios, and it's at the bottom, even with the impressive PSI that helped it win for major ISPs.

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PC Mag Fastest ISPs of 2020:
PCMag has been the leading authority on technology buying since 1982, delivering independent reviews of more than 2,000 products per year. Their editors and analysts are regularly featured in the press as experts.


About Eric Griffith

Eric has been writing about tech for 28 years. He was on the founding staff of Windows Sources, FamilyPC, and Access Internet Magazine (all defunct, and it's not his fault). He's the author of two novels, BETA TEST ("an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale"--Publishers' Weekly) and KALI: THE GHOSTING OF SEPULCHER BAY. He works from his home in Ithaca, New York. Contact to get their advice or schedule an interview.    

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The Fastest ISPs of 2020 Announces 10 Gig

Detailed Information 8 Minutes

Brief Information 2.5 Minutes

Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) announced June 17, 2020 that 10 gigabit per second (Gbps) internet service is now available in Cedar Falls. Business and residential customers can upgrade to internet speeds that rank among the fastest in the world.


“We are the first city in Iowa to have 10 gigabit internet service available city-wide,” said Steve Bernard, Cedar Falls Utilities General Manager. “The upgrade is a community asset that supports innovation in business, education and government in Cedar Falls.”


In addition to updating the top internet tier to 10 gigabit, CFU has increased the capacity on all internet service tiers. CFU’s standard home and business internet speed is now 250 megabits per second. Most residential customers pay $45.50 per month for that service.


PC Mag recently recognized Cedar Falls Utilities as the fastest internet service provider in the country. PC Mag measures internet download and upload speeds with their PCMag online Speed Test. In 2020, CFU ranks first among providers measured, beating out large internet providers across the country.


Cedar Falls families are adding internet enabled devices to their homes quickly. More connected devices means that ultra-fast internet speeds will become increasingly important. CFU has designed the network for a community in which everything is connected and internet users expect to have access to the best of all experiences instantly.


“We know customer demand for bandwidth and connection speed will continue to grow,” continued Steve. “We view it as our job to offer a world-class communications network and get out of the way to see what our customers can do with no limitations.”


Most importantly, the business-ready infrastructure helps local companies succeed and positions Cedar Falls to compete nationally for new jobs and economic growth. The 10 Gig network is a platform built for innovation.


“This upgrade to 10 gigabit leads our ability to compete with the best cities in the world in terms of broadband availability, and puts us ahead of the curve for economic development opportunities,” said Shane Graham, Cedar Falls Economic Development Coordinator.


CFU 10 Gigabit Service Facts:

  • The Federal Communications Commission officially classifies broadband as 25 megabits per second. A 10 gigabit connection is 400 times faster than that.

  • 15 customers in Cedar Falls are connected to 10 gigabit service today. The cost for residential customers is $117 per month. The cost for business customers is $440 per month.

  • The standard internet speed for Cedar Falls homes and businesses is 250 x 250 mbps. A list of all CFU internet service tiers is available at

  • From 2010 to 2013, the entire Cedar Falls community-wide broadband network was upgraded to fiber-to-the-premises, providing higher capacity and reliability. Today, the CFU Communications Utility is debt free.

CFU Top Quality Internet Connection Named Best in US for Gaming

by PC Magazine - Eric Griffith December 10, 2020





Earlier this year, PC Mag named Cedar Falls Utilities the fastest internet service provider in the country, beating out large providers across the U.S.

Now, our community-owned broadband network has earned another accolade from PC Mag – Best Gaming ISP for 2021.

PC Mag does not use a speed index to compare internet service providers for the Best Gaming ISP award. Instead, they measure the quality of the connection. To do that they test the latency and jitter on the network. Latency measures the time it takes data to get to its destination and back. On a low latency network, when a gamer hits a button it registers with minimal lag. Jitter checks the consistency of the latency. When they compared the latency and jitter on networks across the country, CFU’s network came out on top.

Those tech terms mean we have a high-quality network that moves your data without delay, all of the time. Our network in Cedar Falls has fast connections to the core of the internet at major hub sites across the Midwest.

Gamers are not the only ones who need this type of network. Low latency also helps improve the quality of voice and video calls – Zoom anyone? Everyone in Cedar Falls gaming, learning and working from home this year has benefited from CFU’s fast, stable and well-connected network.




















The Cedar Falls Municipal Utilities provide water, natural gas, electricity, fiber optic internet, phone and cable television services to homes and businesses in Cedar Falls, IA. The Utilities are owned by the community, operated for public benefit and governed by a local citizen Board of Trustees.

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Contact Mollie Strouse for further information

1 Utility Pkwy., Cedar Falls, IA  50613

Phone: 319-268-5360

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