The world's fastest Internet access—who's got it?January 23, 2011: 6:00 AM ET
New research ranks the countries with the fastest Internet connections, and all 50 U.S. states too.
The speed at which people around the world connect to the Internet is climbing at a 14% annual clip and now averages nearly 2 megabits per second, according Akamai's "State of the Internet" report that is due out tomorrow.
The global Internet continues to grow bigger and faster at an impressive pace, the report's data show. The number of devices hooked to the Internet climbed 20% in the last year (ended September 30), but it's the increases in speed that are the most eye-catching.
The Akamai data give a unique window into the rapidly evolving Internet. As the world's biggest "content delivery network," the company's servers blast out billions of webpages, iTunes songs, and videos daily, sending them to users of every major wired network and wireless network on the planet. That makes it easy to record how many bits the world's different networks can deliver in a second.
In one surprise, Russia took the top spot in mobile download speeds, with one wireless operator there getting average connection speeds of 6 megabits per second. (Akamai doesn't disclose which company it was.) Still, sky-high wireless speeds often say as much about the crowding of the network as they do about the quality of the technology. After all, you can go faster on a traffic-free county highway than you can on the Autobahn at rush hour.
In some places like South Korea, average speeds have declined because more people are accessing the web from mobile devices. (Wireless download speeds are climbing, but will always lag fiber-optic connections.)
In the U.S., Delaware remained atop the list, aided by its population density and competitive market. Over 97% of Internet connections in Delaware now exceed 2 megabits per second. Average speeds are 7.1 megabits per second, meaning if Delaware were a country it would edge out Romania as the world's fourth fastest.
Here's a list of all 50 U.S. states:
|STATE||Avg Kbps||Avg Mbps|
|3||DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||6407.6024||6.4|