Fastest Internet in the Land? Move to DC


Despite an increase in average Internet connection speeds—from 14.2Mbps to 15.3Mbps—the US dropped two spots in global rankings from last quarter to No. 16, according to Akamai's State of the Internet report.

That's not too shabby compared to the global average of 6.3Mbps. But we've got a long way to go if we want to catch up with South Korea, which continues to dominate with a 29Mbps average speed. Singapore has the highest average peak connection speed at 146.9Mbps.

Broken down by state in the US, the District of Columbia overtook Delaware to lead the nation in average peak connection speeds, with a 13 percent quarterly increase to 93Mbps. It also held the top spot for average connection speed at 24Mbps, followed by Delware (21.2) and Rhode Island (20).

While Kentucky, Idaho, and Alaska had the slowest speeds in the nation this quarter for an average speed of 10.9Mbps, Alaska saw a 13 percent gain in peak speeds to 56.8 Mbps, "joining Utah and the District of Columbia as the biggest first-quarter gainers across all of the states."

"Continuing the trend we have seen over the past several quarters, the first quarter of 2016 saw numerous announcements of new ultra-high-speed commercial broadband service rollouts across the country, from big cities to small towns," the report said.

That includes Cox's Gigablast service in Tucson, Ariz., Comcast's Gigabit Pro in areas of Minnesota, the Lumos Network in Virginia, Ting in Idaho, Metronet in Illinois, and NTS Communications in Louisiana.

Comcast also announced that Atlanta and Nashville will get gigabit Internet services in early 2016, followed by Chicago, Detroit, and Miami in the second half of the year. Plus, Google Fiber revealed additional expansion plans, adding Huntsville, Ala., and San Francisco to its list of cities.

"We are still working hard on updating our data collection and calculations to allow us to shift away from average connection speed as a primary metric and also to begin including IPv6 connection speeds within the report," David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report, wrote in an introduction.

Akamai plans to formally introduce the new metrics later this year.

In the meantime, Belson predicted live sports will dominate video streams this summer as the 2016 Summer Olympics kicks off in Brazil this August. Global average and average peak connections have more than doubled since the summer 2012 games, "which can help support higher-quality video streaming for bigger audiences across even more connected devices and platforms," Belson said.

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