Comcast has the fasted download speed in the nation, according to a new ISP ranking by Ookla.

As of today, Charter, Cablevision, Midcontinent and Time Warner Cable followed Comcast in the ranking of the top-five fasted residential services in the nation based on download speeds.

For upload speeds, Surewest was first followed, respectively, by Verizon, AT&T Comcast and Cox.

Ookla conducts more than one million speed and quality tests daily, primarily through its and sites, and has completed more than 1.5 billion tests to date. With the data, Ookla has expanded its Net Index to include ISP broadband performance evaluations.

The Net Index data is updated daily and is available for free. End users can also rank their ISPs based on a one to five star rating system.

In the near future, Ookla will add a value component to Net Index, allowing consumers to see the cost breakdown associated with broadband services by country, state, city, and even by ISP.

Preliminary data showed the current average monthly cost for broadband in the U.S. was $47.32, with the average cost per Mbps at $5.06, although Ookla said this varied greatly from state to state. Based on download speed, California broadband costs  $4.24 per Mbps, while residents of Idaho pay $8.80, Washington respondents averaged just $3.89 per Mbps and Michigan subscribers pay $6.36.

"The Net Index already offers a powerful research tool for academia, government, ISPs, and those curious about broadband performance. However, it has always been our goal to expand on that information and provide a resource that helps consumers make more informed broadband decisions," said Mike Apgar, co-founder and managing partner of Ookla. "The new ISP ranking data takes a giant step in that direction, further empowering consumers for the first time with rich data that helps evaluate ISP performance close to home or throughout the world."

More Broadband Direct 7/27/10:

•  HITS Central eases CA morass
•  Comcast on top of ISP ranking for download speed
•  Cincinnati Bell launches whole-home DVR with Motorola
•  Equity firm throws a bid on Technicolor's Grass Valley
•  Asia still getting the fastest Internet
•  JDSU tester measures SyncE jitter
•  Unlockers Win Copyright Ruling
•  Verizon phone outage hits part of Manhattan
•  NBC unveils combined online advertising platform
•  House acts to improve Internet access for disabled
•  CED Blog: D3 update: Suddenlink's 50 Mbps tier hits Kingwood, Tex.