Who is Number One in Global Internet Speed?

Category: Reference

The United States may have invented the Internet, but we are not even in the top 10 when it comes to data speeds. Can you guess which countries (and states in the USA) have the fastest Internet access speeds? Should you move? Read on to how how they stack up…

Where are the Fastest Internet Speeds?

According to the Q4 2014 report on The State of the Internet from Akamai Technologies the U. S. ranks 16th among nations in terms of average Internet speed. Worse, the U. S. was ranked 12th at the beginning of 2014.

South Koreans clocked the fastest average speed (22.2 Mbps), exactly double the U. S. average. Hong Kong took 2nd place with 16.8 Mbps, and Japan came in 3rd with 15.2 Mbps. Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Latvia, Ireland, The Czech Republic, and Finland filled out the top 10. Finland, in 10th place, averaged 12.1 Mbps.

The U. S. was still number one among the Americas, at least. Canadians’ average speed was 10.7 Mbps. Uruguay, surprisingly, took third place.

Internet speed comparison

Among the 50 States and the District of Columbia, Virginia is the current average speed champ with 17.7 Mbps. East Coast States Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and DC claimed the remainder of the top 5 spots. Utah, Washington, Oregon, and North Dakota come next; New York ended up in 10th place with 12.6 Mbps on average.

“Penetration of speeds above 10 Mbps” is another measure of broadband health that Akamai uses. Delaware is number one, with 68% of its Internet-equipped households having speeds of 10 Mbps or greater. The U. S. as a whole scored 39%, up 20% from 2013 but only ranking 17th worldwide.

What is Broadband?

Are you getting the Internet speed you've been promised by your service provider? Does it seem slower at some times? Learn how to measure your actual download and upload speeds, and test the reliability of your connection. See HOWTO: Measure Your Internet Speed.

This is a good place to note that the FCC recently revised its definition of “broadband” to “a minimum of 25 Mbps,” much to the consternation of the ISP industry in the U.S. Previously, “broadband” was 4 Mbps or faster. Congress defines advanced telecommunications capability as “enough broadband to originate and receive high quality voice, data, graphics, and video.” In addition to the ever-growing sizes of HD video, graphics, etc., the new FCC definition takes into consideration the fact that most households include multiple people who share a connection simultaneously.

But consumers prefer slower Internet, according to the major ISPs. Verizon’s filings with the FCC read, “Consumers continue to find that services at the existing 4Mbps/1Mbps threshold meet their needs for broadband services and a higher benchmark would serve no purpose.” This is the same Verizon whose marketing literature advises households with 3 to 5 connected devices to go with 50 Mbps up and down, or faster.

“Somebody is telling us one thing and telling consumers another,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said of Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable.

Meanwhile, Google Fiber’s gigabit Internet service, while still only available in selected neighborhoods of three U. S. cities, is finally having its intended effect of prodding incumbent ISPs into upgrading their networks.

Comcast has announced plans to offer hot, smoking 2 gigabit-per-second residential service to 18 million of its 22 million subscribers by 2016. Atlanta will get it first, followed by other major cities. Comcast’s Gigabit Pro service will be available only to customers “within close proximity to our fiber network” who purchase or lease “professional grade” equipment. Oh, and pricing is not available yet.

Comcast simultaneously announced plans to upgrade its cable network to the DOCSIS 3.1 standard in 2016. That will make gigabit service possible for nearly all Comcast customers (who upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1 with new firmware or routers).

Coincidentally or not, AT&T has finally delivered on its seven month-old promise to bring gigabit Internet to households in Silicon Valley; portions of Cupertino, to be exact. AT&T Uverse Gigapower costs $110 a month in Cupertino but only $70 in Kansas City and Raleigh, NC, where Google Fiber offers competition at the same price.

For all their disingenuous whining about how expensive and unwanted faster Internet service is, incumbent ISPs are being dragged, shamed, and regulated into the 21st Century. But wait until you see the price tag before celebrating.

What's YOUR internet access speed? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Who is Number One in Global Internet Speed?"

(See all 40 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

07 Apr 2015

Here in the UK I'm getting 100Mbs with Virginmedia. How did we ever manage with dial-up?

Posted by:

Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries
07 Apr 2015

My plan is 75/75 (Fios), but I typically get speeds around 85/90 (Ookla).

I remember the days when we were limited to 300 baud, so I have no complaint.

Posted by:

Elliot Maldonado
07 Apr 2015

I live in Orlando,Fl. and my speed is 150 mbps from Bright House Networks. This article says that the US cannot compare to other nations. Honestly I don't understand this article.

Posted by:

07 Apr 2015

It would be more accurate if they added the percentage of homes and businesses (perhaps split out) that GET that 'average' speed.

Posted by:

07 Apr 2015

I'm in Southern California. I've got Time warner here. I pay $40 for 200 mb down, 20 mb up. I actually get 80 mb down, 20 mb up, thanks older router. I hope Time Warner doesn't get bought out by Comcast. UVerse isn't worth switching to in my particular area.

Posted by:

Mike in Colorado
07 Apr 2015

My latest test via speedtest.net shows me getting 142.93 Mbps down and 21.63 Mbps up from Comcast. That's a bit faster than what I normally get at night. I have a bundled service that includes voice, internet and TV with all the pay movie channels for about $142/month.

Posted by:

07 Apr 2015

Not happy with AT&T. Paying $50.00 per month for 3mbps down (mostly below) and 0.3mbps (mostly below). There are two speed/pricing levels below what my service is. AT&T currently has no plans to bring their U-verse service to my neighborhood. The only competition is Comcast, and I haven't heard many compliments about them either.

Posted by:

Mary Ann
08 Apr 2015

Cent Link DSL speed is 2.13/mbps down! And it is not the government's fault.

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

"Broadband internet" ranks right up there with "customer service" and "military intelligence" as contradictions in terms!

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

Guess what Bob. I am living in South Korea with my Korean wife!!!!!!


Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

I get 5 mbps down & 1 mbps up from Google Fiber in Kansas City for $25/month plus tax the first year and the next 6 years are FREE. Plenty good for our needs. Can always upgrade to 1,000 mbps up & down service if needed for $70/month plus tax.

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

I live in Canada too (Vancouver)
I'm wondering how it is possible that you pay $45CAD, about $35US for unlimited access at 25/2 Mbps.
Because in Vancouver I pay almost $60Cad for only 6/1 Mbps. That means I am paying $15Can more for 19Mbps. less internet speed.
My internet is from Telus.

Posted by:

Mac 'n' Cheese
08 Apr 2015

I'm on Verizon Fios (Fios: stupid name, isn't it?) in Beaumont, California, a small city between Los Angeles and Palm Springs. I pay for 50 Mbps. I check my Internet speed performance frequently, even with all Bob's caveats in his recent article on Internet speed.

On my last test, April 2nd, at 10:07 a.m., I clocked 58.26 Mbps download and 654.06 upload! (I'm paying, mind you, for only 50 Mbps.) And I have no idea why my upload speed is better than my download speed. But I somehow haven't found the time to complain.


Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

Jim- when you admonish sparity for whining and blaming the government, I just have to feel that you still cling to the concept of government of the people, by the poeple, and for the poeple. It's not that way any more, so let's not look at ourselves as having any responsiblity here. By all means, let's blame anybody but ourselves. I hope this uploads before the summer solstice.

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

I'm charged a little under a hundred dollars for land line phone service with DSL at 3mps, just outside of Lebanon, Missouri. I stream nothing except some Youtube videos. We really need an initiative like the Rural Electrification Program all those years ago to get broadband into these rural areas.

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

I am with Comcast and live in Heiskell, TN 11 miles North of Knoxville, TN. We get 50 dn and 12up guaranteed at $ 65.00 per month. My average is 57 up and 11 down. At present they offer as much as 150 Mbs bit the price goes up too much for me. I guess we are lucky as we do live in a small rural Community. I usually get 4 G on my smart phone with Verizon, and the speed varies.

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

So I had dial-up as the best AT&T could do in my remote rural Michigan location. Within a half mile of my house was a small independent phone company that offered DSL as its base service. Finally talked them into running a line the half mile beyond their service area to provide me DSL, landline phone, cable TV, and long distance for about $100 a month. Of course this did not happen without AT&T trying to prevent it from happening. I'm happy, and even happier with the best utility costumer service I have ever had from this small (nine total employees) rural independent phone company.

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

I am with Australia's largest internet supplier and living in Melbourne (second largest city), I just tested 19 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. We have a limit of one Terabyte per month and for this I pay $A140 which I think is a bit high. $140 is about 3% of average monthly earnings in Australia (more than I get).
By the way thanks Bob.

Posted by:

08 Apr 2015

I live in Lisbon, Portugal and I have a fiber optic connection - Internet, TV, phone and mobile – and I pay for all of them 39,49 €.

The speeds I have are 123,86 Mbps down and 8,45 up, which don’t seem bad comparing to all the speeds I read in the article and on the posts.

Posted by:

29 Apr 2015

3mbps dsl from Milwaukee Pc here in southeast Wisconsin for $29.95. No complaints! I also refuse to pay cable to pump endless commercials into my home - they can pay ME for that privilege. No useless "bundled" crap packages allowed in my home! I also use a

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