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U.S. Broadband Getting Faster As Capacity “Grows Across The Country”

March 30, 2015

Blue and red fibre optical cablesAccording to Akamai Technology’s most recent quarterly report, peak broadband speeds in the U.S. increased 16 percent between the fourth quarter of 2013 and the fourth quarter of 2014. (The year-over-year average increase across the globe was 20 percent.) The average peak speed was 49.4 Mbps. The average connection speed overall was up 15 percent for the same period, to 11.1 Mbps.

Telecompetitor.Com reported “Six U.S. states and the District of Columbia had peak connection speeds exceeding 60 Mbps in the fourth quarter of 2014.” The Washington Post said, “All but seven states saw average peak connection speeds grow between the third and fourth quarters of 2014, an indication that Internet connection capacity is growing across the country.” Delaware’s peak speed of 75.4 Mbps was the highest in the nation. (Virginia had the highest overall connection speed at 17.1 Mbps.)

Curious how your state ranks? The Washington Post published a map last week that makes it easy to find out.

The state with the lowest peak speed is Arkansas at 35 Mbps. That rate exceeds the new broadband definition released by the Federal Communications Commission in January. According to Netflix, the 25 Mbps rate is what consumers need to download a movie “Ultra HD” quality. Using the FCC’s own numbers, it is clear each state’s average peak connection speed is also well above what is necessary to stream videos (4 Mbps), browse interactive webpages (1 Mbps) check email (0.5 Mbps).