Verizon scored the highest marks for customer satisfaction in the East, West and South Regions in the latest J.D. Power customer satisfaction data study while Wide Open West (WOW) took top honors in the North Central Region.

The J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction study also found that customers who upgraded their data tiers to faster premium tiers were satisfied with the results. In addition to improved customer satisfaction, the faster premium tiers also increased customer loyalty.

 "As streaming video grows in popularity, supporting customer demand for bandwidth and download speeds presents many challenges for the industry," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power. "Meeting these challenges increases customer satisfaction. Providing value-based bandwidth and download speed offerings are key for industry growth."

Overall customer satisfaction among Internet service customers was 683 on a 1,000-point scale. Customer satisfaction increased to 712 among customers who upgraded to premium speed package, which was 41 points higher than among those who didn’t upgrade their Internet service.

The study found that performance and reliability were by far the most critical factors in driving overall satisfaction and meeting customer expectations. Customers who upgraded to premium speed packages made nearly twice as many positive recommendations to friends/family of their provider during the past year.

The average monthly bill for premium speed packages was $48, compared with $43 for basic Internet.

Overall customer index scores were: East Region; Verizon, (722), Cablevision (688), AT&T (684), Cox Communications (682, Comcast (678), Time Warner Cable (648), Frontier (645). West Region: Verizon (714), AT&T (689), Cox Communications (687), Comcast (672), CenturyLink (664), Time Warner Cable (661), Charter Communications (648), Mediacom Communications (600). South Region: Verizon (724), AT&T (711), Bright House Networks (708), Cox Communications (689), Comcast (674), Charter Communications (669), Time Warner Cable (666), Windstream (661), CenturyLink (659). North Central: Wide Open West (709), AT&T (700), Comcast (676), Cincinnati Bell (662), Charter (659), CenturyLink (637), and Frontier (633).