[Ed. note: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that AT&T had fallen to "eighth place" on this year's list of the fastest nationwide carriers. AT&T, in fact, sits at number three on the list. We regret the confusion.]
"Our tests will give you information about mobile broadband Web connections from smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The results tell you which networks are the fastest, and which are the most consistent," writes PC Mag. Like last year, networks' coverage and call quality were not assessed.
There were a few shakeups on this year's list of the nation's fastest carriers, due in part to the introduction of 4G networks in the U.S. While AT&T was named the fastest in 2010, the carrier has dropped to third place. 2011's new winner (see slideshow) nabbed the top spot with it blazing 4G, which offers "speeds that often exceed home Internet connections," according to PC Mag's tests.
You can view winners of PC Mag's national assessment (below). Read the entire study at PC Mag to see which carriers were fastest by region and to learn more details about how the study was conducted. Then, view last year's results to see how they compare with this year's.