How fast is your internet connection? Chances are, if you’re in the United States, it could be faster.
In Akamai Technologies’ recently released State of the Internet Report, the U.S. isn’t among the top 10 of countries or regions in the rankings of the global average connection speeds. Using data collected in the first quarter of 2014, here are the top average connection speeds in megabits per second, according to the study:
So why isn’t the U.S. – the birthplace of the internet – on the top 10 list? Akamai points to the variation in high broadband connectivity. Just 36 percent of Americans have high-speed broadband connectivity that delivers more than 10 Mbps compared to 77 percent of South Koreans.
In its coverage of the report, TechInsider.net explains the reason:
The reason behind the large difference in high speed internet access is believed to be the Telecommunications Act, which was enacted in the U.S. in 1996. This legislature has allowed large firms, such as Verizon Communications, Comcast Corporation, Time Warner and AT&T to divide up the market among themselves, and thus not be exposed to competition. In South Korea, on the other hand, the fierce competition amongst telecommunications companies has led to heavy investments in infrastructure, and ultimately, far better connectivity speeds.
Obviously the United States is a much larger land mass than any of the countries in the top 10. Sweden, the largest country on the list by area, is the 56th-largest country in the world at 173,860 square miles. The United States is 22 times larger (3,794,100 square miles).
Nearly half (22 states, plus the District of Columbia) of the United States would be among the top 10 global list if broken into states – and much of the northeast region of the country would be near the top of the list.
As illustrated by a map created by Broadview Networks using the Akamai’s data (at right), speeds fizzle in the middle of the country. Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Mississippi, West Virginia, Montana, Kentucky, Arkansas and Alaska all have speeds less than 8 mbps.
Online Tech’s home of Michigan has an average mbps of 11.8, the eighth-fastest state in the country and the fastest of the 12 Midwestern states. Here is Broadview Networks’ breakdown of the top 10 internet speeds by state. Find the complete list here.
1. Virginia (13.7 mbps)
2. Delaware (13.1 mbps)
2. Massachusetts (13.1 mbps)
4. Rhode Island (12.9 mbps)
5. District of Columbia (12.8 mbps)
6. Washington (12.5 mbps)
7. New Hampshire (12.3 mbps)
8. Utah (12.1 mbps)
9. Michigan (11.8 mbps)
10. Connecticut (11.7 mbps)
10. North Dakota (11.7 mbps)
10. Oregon (11.7 mbps)
Akamai’s State of the Internet Report
TechInsider.net: U.S. Lagging in Terms of Internet Connection Speed
Broadview Networks: Internet Speeds by State: MAP
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