Internet Speed: How Does Your State Compare?

Brandon Dimmel's picture

A new report reveals the states with the fastest and slowest Internet speeds -- and the results are quite surprising.

According to information technology and communications firm Broadview Networks, the fastest Internet service in the United States can be found in Virginia, which boasts an average speed of 13.7 megabits per second (Mbps), or approximately 1625 kilobytes per second. In fact, the eastern seaboard is home to many states with fast Internet: Delaware and Massachusetts tied for second (13.1 Mbps), followed by Rhode Island (12.9 Mbps) and Washington, DC (12.8 Mbps).

Of course, there are some western states with very fast Internet service. Washington, which is also home of Microsoft, placed sixth, with an average speed of 12.5 Mbps. But then it's back to the east with the seventh spot, which belongs to New Hampshire at 12.3 Mbps.

Isolated Alaska Ranks Last with Average Speed of 7 Mbps

Given its isolation, it may be no surprise that the state with the slowest average Internet speed (just 7 Mbps) is Alaska. Distant Hawaii also fared poorly (8.4 Mbps).

But it's the Midwest and South where, generally speaking, the worst Internet speeds can be found. Arkansas, Kentucky, and Montana tied for the second-worst average speed at 7.3 Mbps, followed by West Virginia (7.5 Mbps), Mississippi and New Mexico (7.6 Mbps). Missouri, Louisiana, and Idaho also tied, with Internet speeds clocked at just 7.7 Mbps. (Source:

The biggest shocker may be California, home of Silicon Valley. The Pacific state ranks 20th with an average speed of 10.9 Mbps. In other words, Virginians enjoy Internet speeds 20 per cent faster than their California counterparts. (Source:

Experts: ISP Throttling, Connection Type, Location Also Critical Factors

Experts say it's important to note that a lot rests on the capabilities of an Internet Service Provider (or ISP). Some ISPs are known for 'throttling' service, which can reduce speeds to levels far below their potential. Furthermore, connection type (DSL vs. cable) and location within a state also represent critical factors in determining one's Internet speed.

Broadview Networks' report, which is based on statistics gathered by cloud service company Akamai, also showed how the United States' average Internet speed compares to the rest of the world. The finding: South Korea boasts the world's fastest Internet, with an average speed of 23.6 Mbps. Japan follows at 14.6 Mbps, with the United States ranking tenth at 10.5 Mbps. (Source:

Report Caveats: No Mention of Google Fiber

The report does not mention services offered by Google Fiber, which is a relatively new offering. Google Fiber is a fiber-optic connection that goes directly into homes and is currently available in limited capacity to consumers Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri), Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. Google Fiber offers gigabit Internet speeds; 1 gigabit is 1000 megabits, or roughly 125,000 kilobytes (125 megabytes) per second.

What's Your Opinion?

Are you surprised that the nation's fastest Internet can be found in America's Northeast? Are you surprised that California ranks so low? Do you think the U.S. government needs to do more to improve Internet speeds across the country? What is the Internet speed like in your location?

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DavidFB's picture

Not sure how useful this is because it also doesn't mention range. For example, when I was in the midwest a few years ago, I had cheap fibre.

Without range, it's too generalized. For example, one place may have competing ISPs who all throttle. Another may have a much broader range of available choices but the average is lower because more people pick the cheap service. What kind of priority does it have in that area? I would doubt Silicon Valley runs that low on average but perhaps the service is expensive so a typical household runs slower.

stekcapofni's picture

These numbers don't amount to squat. These numbers are statistically insignificant.

LouisianaJoe's picture

Some states averages may be based on the availability of cable or fiber which is much faster than DSL. I just ran a speed test and I show 68269 kbps download and 18509 upload. This is a lot faster than the Louisiana average. A business in Kenner, LA is lucky to get 4000 with DSL.

jsteedley2's picture

Hello, all.
I'm inclined to take these stats w/ a grain [box?] of salt. I'm located down in the rural south of Georgia,
yet says I'm getting 11.6 Mbps down, 1.5 Mbps up, with a 32 ms ping, for $40.99 / month. [I own my DOCSIS 3.0 modem.]
These numbers may not be all that great, but it sure beats the dialup I had back in '06/07. The NWS radar site literally would *never* load. It was so bad that someone in another state could have printed the page, pun it in an envelope, & actually mailed the page to me before it would completely load in a browser window.
Its not always so fast, sometimes it drops to 7/8 Mbps, but then most ISPs oversell their service, IMO.
Sometimes I lose service for a few hours or maybe several, but w/ my Ooma [less than $4 / month], it seems like it not too shabby a deal.

Have a GREAT day, Neighbors!