It may seem like streaming videos take forever to buffer and iTunes purchases always seem to have one minute left to download, but U.S. Internet speeds have actually increased from 2013 to 2014. Virginia had the fastest service, with 13.7 megabits per second, and Alaska the slowest (7.0 mbps), though both fall far behind South Korea, which at 23.6 mbps has the fastest Internet speed in the world.
Nearly every state has seen an improvement, with the average Internet speed clocking in at 10.5 average mbps.
These numbers are part of a report by Akami, a cloud-services firm that works with some of the biggest-name corporations online today. The report examined the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, finding that 26 states posted speeds above Akami’s “high broadband” cutoff, and all 50 states were above Akami’s “low broadband” cutoff.
“In contrast to the overwhelmingly negative nature of the quarterly changes, year-over-year changes in average peak connection speeds were completely positive, and rather strong, among the top 10 states,” the report noted. “Across the group, yearly increases ranged from 13 percent in New York to an impressive 68 percent in Maryland. Year-over-year changes were also overwhelmingly positive across the whole country, with only Ohio and Vermont seeing lower speeds.”
Ranked behind Virginia, respectively, are Delaware (13.1 mbps), Massachusetts (13.1), Rhode Island (12.9), Washington, D.C., (12.8) and Washington state (12.5). Sitting at the bottom, just above Alaska, are Arkansas (7.3 mbps), Kentucky (7.3), Montana (7.3), and West Virginia (7.5). New York (11.5 mbps), California (10.9), Texas (9.4), and other heavily populated states rank throughout the middle of the pack.
The data, available in a succinct list put together by Broadview Networks, a network-based voice service provider, has been published at a time when the net neutrality debate has customers and content providers nervous about how Internet connections will be regulated in the future.
However the data also indicates that U.S. Internet speed doesn’t compare well to a number of developed countries, falling behind Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea (which has an average speed of 23.6 mbps), the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The U.S. is tied with Denmark.