internet connections

Average US connection speed buoyed by local efforts

Despite having access to a wide variety of Internet providers, the United States is not among the top 10 countries in average connection speeds. 

The average global connection speed in the last quarter of 2015 was 5.6 megabits per second. South Korea tops the list with 26.7 Mbps speeds, and the United States averages 14.2, according to Akamai’s “State of the Internet” report.

Within the United States, Washington D.C. (which was treated as a state for the report) has the fastest average connection speed with 21.3 Mbps. Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Utah round out the top five, all with speeds over 17 Mbps. None of the states, however had average connection speeds reaching the Federal Communication Commission’s new 25 Mbps broadband threshold, Akamai said.

However, gigabit connection projects from Google Fiber and the leading Internet service providers are helping lift connection speed averages more locally. And municipalities delivering their own broadband services are increasingly offering gigabit speeds. Chattanooga, Tenn., which began offering gigabit service in 2010, recently announced the rollout of municipal 10 Gbps service. Lincoln, Neb., is working with Allo Communications to bring gigabit Internet to all premises across the city by 2019, and Santa Cruz, Calif., plans to build a fiber network that would bring gigabit access to every home and business by 2018.

New York City’s new LinkNYC public wireless access points also offer above-average connection speeds, with one early user citing 300 Mbps Wi-Fi access. That kind of access will also be available to the Transportation Department’s Smart Cities Challenge winner, which will receive 100 on-street kiosks that will provide Wi-Fi service for citizens in underserved neighborhoods.

The full report is available here.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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