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Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes

Mari Silbey
3/25/2015

If 25 Mbit/s is the new broadband threshold, then US connectivity leaves a lot to be desired. (See FCC Sets 25/3 as New Broadband Bar.)

According to Akamai's latest State of the Internet Report, only Virginia and Delaware have average Internet connection speeds above 15 Mbit/s, or what Akamai calls "4K readiness" level. The other eight states in the top ten in Akamai's report have average connection speeds between 12.6 Mbit/s (in New York) and 14.4 Mbit/s (in Washington DC). The states with the lowest speeds -- including Alaska, Kentucky, New Mexico and Arkansas -- all have average connections running just below 8 Mbit/s.


The rollout of Gigabit broadband access networks is spreading. Find out what's happening where in our dedicated Gigabit Cities content channel here on Light Reading.


In good news, however, average Internet speeds have gone up across all states compared to a year ago. And, with targeted gigabit broadband deployments, peak connection speeds are also rising. Delaware takes top prize with an average peak connection speed of 75.4 Mbit/s. Arkansas trails at the bottom of the list of states with an average peak connection speed of only 34 Mbit/s.

From a global perspective, US speeds don't make the top-ten charts. The average connection speed across America is only 11.1 Mbit/s, which ranks it at number 16 among countries worldwide. The peak connection speed in the US averages out at 49.4 Mbit/s, which ranks it at number 22 globally.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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Phil_Britt
Phil_Britt
3/30/2015 | 8:57:20 AM
Re: Does the report represent...
brooks7,

 

The difference between actual connection and available connection speed could be an issue of ancillary equipment, people on the network, etc. When my daughters are on iPhones, Macs and both PCs are in use, my actual connection speed is much lower than the theoretical available connection speed.
brooks7
brooks7
3/28/2015 | 1:58:32 PM
Re: Does the report represent...
kq4ym,

As far as I can tell, the only thing that matters is video streaming.  If you can do that, then online gaming is a slam dunk.  The technology for online gaming is built aroung practices built for dial modems.  Newer games generally favor smaller groups and again that takes less bandwidth.

The idea of product development out of ones house is a possible use, but even then you could do most of the work off site (like rent an AWS server).  That means that bandwidth needs are lower.

So, is access speed causing people streaming issues?  If not, then I would argue that buying more than that is all about perception...and consumers will generally not go for it (over time).

seven

 
kq4ym
kq4ym
3/28/2015 | 10:59:08 AM
Re: Does the report represent...
It would be interesting to see just what customers actually need and demand in high speeds. Maybe, it is in fact that the consumers are now comfortable with current availablities that makes the U.S. behind other countries?
Ariella
Ariella
3/26/2015 | 7:36:09 PM
Re: Does the report represent...
"What that says to me is that the value of broadband is set." I see. 
brooks7
brooks7
3/26/2015 | 7:33:59 PM
Re: Does the report represent...
No, I am asking a quesiton about the report.

It says it manages average broadband speed.  My take is that average actual speed that the customer has ordered.  That is a market tradeoff of value and price.  What that says to me is that the value of broadband is set.  If there is broadband speed that is available that the customer is not buying, we might want to understand why they are not perceiving value.

seven

 
Ariella
Ariella
3/26/2015 | 7:21:03 PM
Re: Does the report represent...
@brooks7 Do you mean that if one would always opt for the fastest speed, no matter what the cost? 
mendyk
mendyk
3/26/2015 | 11:03:36 AM
Re: Does the report represent...
Lower takeup rates for highest-rate-available service in some parts of the country are probably less of a problem than a lifestyle choice. There are parts of the U.S. where megarate Internet access isn't a top priority for most people.
msilbey
msilbey
3/26/2015 | 9:29:16 AM
Re: Does the report represent...
The report does talk about adoption issues. Arkansas and Idaho are at the low end of adoption rates for speeds higher than 10 Mbps. The rates there are 22% and 23% respectively. Definitely a problem.

 
brooks7
brooks7
3/25/2015 | 5:05:52 PM
Does the report represent...
Actual connection speed or available connection speed?

Because if it is the former, maybe we should be asking why people are not maxing out the speed they could buy...

seven

 
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