Who is Number One in Global Internet Speed?
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.
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?
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...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 7 Apr 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Who is Number One in Global Internet Speed? (Posted: 7 Apr 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved