September 8, 2009

Which state has the fastest broadband Internet?

Earlier this week much fuss was made about how U.S. broadband speeds continue to languish compared to our more sophisticated international rivals: We now rank a lowly 28th worldwide, our average 5.07Mbps net connection far below the 20.4Mbps average that world leader South Korea boasts.

But that 5Mbps is just an average, and rates vary widely from state to state. And in fact, Speed Matters, the site from the Communication Workers of America that popularized the research, broke the data down on a state-by-state basis.

What state is on top? If you said Delaware, well, you've probably already seen this report publicized somewhere else. The home of Baltimore and the Wilmington City Ruff Rollers roller derby team has the best average download speeds in the nation, with a 9.91Mbps average throughput; that's faster than the #13 country on the international list, Germany.

Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York round out the top five.

At the bottom of the list come the states and territories you'd expect to suffer from low speed due to their remote location, large size, and/or sparse population. Puerto Rico averages just a 1.04Mbps download speed, with the Virgin Islands, Montana, Alaska, and Idaho all reporting well below a 3Mbps average.

Of course the CWA's goal with this report, now in its third year, isn't entirely altruistic -- these guys aren't really worried about how long you have to wait before that kitty cat video fully loads in your browser. The CWA naturally wants to spur broadband upgrades, infrastructure improvements, and better availability throughout the country, because that means more work for its membership. Can't really blame them, of course, and the $7.2 billion in Obama's stimulus package that targets broadband deployment must be looking awfully enticing, too.

Check out how your state ranks by exploring the interactive map here.


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