Action 9 investigates Internet speeds

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OVIEDO, Fla. - Action 9 investigates high-speed Internet offers that promise you lightning-fast performance.

An Oviedo man claims he paid top dollar for high-speed Internet, but his computer was trapped in slow motion.

Action 9's Todd Ulrich found many customers don't get what they pay for, and what you can do about it.

Michael Boelke is a retired graphics artist who still creates art at home and needs high-speed Internet to share it. He's paying AT&T for its super-fast service.

"They call it Max Turbo. Sounds powerful?" said Ulrich.

"I've never seen that much speed, never once," said Boelke.

Boelke said for days at a time he can't upload files without huge delays.

AT&T's basic service is $30 a month. Boelke pays $55 a month for the "turbo" connection.

"Most days I'm receiving bottom-level service," he said.

Boelke said AT&T techs told him there wasn't a problem, so he downloaded a top app to run his own speed test and found some days he got 1 to 3 megabits.

Max Turbo is supposed to be eight times more powerful.

"You got a product they advertise on its website and it's just not there," said Boelke.

Many families need more bandwidth than they have had in the past for streaming live events, downloading movies and playing games.

So many consumers complained that the FCC ran its own testing. The Commission's results showed four companies were not delivering advertised speeds, including Century Link and AT&T.

Consumer experts said despite company fine print disclaimers about speed fluctuations, you have rights.

"During peak times, they may not be getting the speeds they want, but they certainly should be in the range the company promotes," said Better Business Bureau president Judy Pepper.

Action 9 contacted AT&T, and the company replaced Boelke's entire system and gave him a partial refund.

Consumer technology experts said many families don't need top-tier Internet speed. If you want to run your own speed tests, a free app called Ookla is the most popular.