The State of Internet Speed in the USA

Internet Speed in USA

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The internet and its access has been regarded as a right of every human according to United Nations. Have you ever wondered how the internet speed in the United States compares with other countries?

The internet has become vital to billions of humans across the globe – it became the medium for freedom of expression, in voicing out opinions as well as in accessing basic rights of humans. With it, purchasing goods and services are done instantly; looking for valuable information is made easy; people can engage through online social media; learning and studying is made simple and accessible – these are some of the benefits you can get from the Internet. However, the speed of internet varies per country. The speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps) and it shows the speed of data transmission.

speed of data transmission

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The global average for Internet speed is at 7.0 Mbps during the fourth quarter of 2016, which is 26% increase year over year. The three-monthly report of the speed is comprised of the data gathered from across the Akamai Intelligent Platform about mobile connectivity, broadband adoption, attack traffic and other pertinent themes about the internet and its treatment, as well as inclinations over time. From the trend, internet connections have come a long way as it continuously shows long-term upward trends across the globe, with predominantly robust year-over-year growths thru the broadband metrics.

For the Q4 2016 state of the internet speed report from Akamai, it was once again South Korea that had the highest connection speed on average of 26.1 Mbps. The top ten also includes (in chronological order):

  • Norway (23.6 Mbps)
  • Sweden (22.8 Mbps)
  • Hong Kong (21.9 Mbps)
  • Switzerland (21.2 Mbps)
  • Denmark (20.7 Mbps)
  • Finland (20.6 Mbps)
  • Singapore (20.2 Mbps)
  • Japan (19.6 Mbps)
  • Netherlands (17.6 Mbps)

Majority of this country experienced an increase in data connectivity except for South Korea in which there is a 0.7% decrease from last report. You will notice from the Akamai report that the United States is not in the top ten, in fact the list is dominated by European and Asian countries. So what is the ranking of the US in terms of internet speed?

fiber lines

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Currently, the US is pegged at the 20th spot and it could be worrisome in terms of the global averages. Akamai listed the national average for the US at 15.3 Mbps or about half of the leading speed. The state of District of Columbia (DC) has the fastest internet speed at 26.7 Mbps followed by Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Utah and California. All of the 51 states have internet speed above the 10 Mbps threshold with only 34 of them having more than the 15 Mbps mark. Still, this is way below the national target for internet speed of 25 Mbps.

Having such internet speed is not bad at all for the US (in fact, it is more than twice the global average), but in this modern day where internet is necessary for various services, this can demonstrate the lack of innovations and technological advancement for a technological superpower like the US. The issue of having such internet speed can be attributed to the inadequate infrastructure as well as the need for service improvement. The increase of the internet speed in the US is due to the National Broadband Plan but this experiences slow uptake since the US government can only make things done one at a time.

New technology has been introduced as of late like fibre optic lines, replacement of the copper line with coaxial lines and such are being implemented as of today and this will lead to further increase of the internet speed and in one day, the US can be part of the top ten, if not topping the list.