U.S. Ranks Only 28th in Internet Speeds

Friday, August 28, 2009
Waiting for a download

Fast-paced can apply to many things in American society, but Internet connections is not one of them. A study by the Communications Workers of America found that the United States currently ranks 28th in the world when it comes to high-speed Web surfing, with an average download speed of 5.1 megabits per second (mbps). This is a far cry slower than South Korea, the world leader, which has a 20.4 mbps download speed. Other top countries are Japan (15.8) and Sweden (12.8).

The study details how each U.S. state fares with its own Internet download speeds. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states offer the best broadband connections, specifically: Delaware (9.9 mbps); Rhode Island (9.8 mbps); New Jersey (8.9 mbps), Massachusetts (8.6 mbps); and New York (8.4 mbps).
The slowest states are located in the South and West, namely: Mississippi (3.7 mbps); South Carolina (3.6 mbps); Arkansas (3.1 mbps); Idaho (2.6 mbps); and Alaska (2.3 mbps).
According the study’s authors, the U.S. is the only industrialized country without a national policy to promote high-speed Internet access. That is expected to change under President Barack Obama. And it’s a good thing too. For if America continues at its current snail’s pace of increasing broadband connections, it will take the country 15 years to catch up to South Korea’s current speed.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Speed Matters Speed Test (Speed Matters.org) (PDF)


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