Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Report on Internet Speeds In The U.S.

The Communications Workers of America released their third annual Speed Matters survey of Internet speeds last week. The 67 page report takes a look at how U.S. Internet speeds compare state-by-state and with the rest of the world. Here's some highlights:

  • The United States ranks 28th in average Internet connection speeds.
  • The average download speed for the nation was 5.1 megabits per second (Mbps) and increased from 4.2 Mbps last year.
  • The average upload speed for the nation was 1.1 mbps and increased from 873 kilobits per second (Kbps) last year.
  • The U.S. average upload speed is far too slow for patient monitoring or transmitting large files such as medical records.
How do we compare? 24 other countries in the world have faster broadband than we do in the U.S. Here's some of the faster ones:
  • In South Korea, the average download speed is 20.4 Mbps.
  • In Japan, the average download speed is 15.8 Mbps.
  • In Sweden, the average download speed is 12.8 Mbps.
  • In the Netherlands, the average download speed is 11 Mbps.
According to the CWA report, at our current rate of increase, it will take the United States 15 years to catch up with current Internet speeds in South Korea. Also:
  • 90% of Japanese households have access to fiber-to-the-home networks capable of 100 Mbps.
  • The average advertised download speeds offered by broadband providers in Japan was 92.8 Mbps and in South Korea was 80.8 Mbps.
The report also indicates relatively few Americans have access to truely high-speed two-way communications:
  • 18% of those who ran the speed test on the Speed Matters website recorded download speeds slower than 768 Kbps which does not even qualify as basic broadband according to the new(er) Federal Communications Commission definition.
  • 64% of speed test participants connected at less than 10 Mbps downstream which is not enough bandwidth for high-definition video.
  • Only 19% connected at speeds greater than 10 Mbps and only 2% of those exceeded 25 Mbps downstream.
In the United States, Delaware was ranked number one with an average download speed of 9.906 Mbps and an average upload speed of 2.310 Mbps. Puerto Rico was ranked last (53rd) with average download speeds of 1.043 Mbps and average upload speeds of 383 Mbps.

Some will argue about the way the data was collected and things like sample sizes, etc. In the end though we are performing incredibly poorly when compared with the rest of the world.

The Speed Matters website has the full free report that includes a state-by-state breakdown along with the option of viewing and downloading individual state specific reports. Be sure to check it out and see how your state did.

[Note: Image above taken from full report, page 1]

No comments: