The Internet is built on the underlying principle that open standards will permit every network to connect to any other network. It allows anyone to create content, without requiring permission from a centralized authority, making it possible for many service providers to compete for your business. It is this rich competition that drives companies to increase connection speed, so they can attract you as the consumer. With more companies at play, faster Internet speeds arise.
How does the U.S. compare to the rest of the world when it comes to Internet connection speeds? The tech firm Akamai recently released its quarterly “State of the Internet” report, indicating which countries are at the top speed list. Let’s take a look at how we’re doing against ourselves and the rest of the world.
The Good Old U.S.A.
The national average is a moderate 8.6 mbps, and the speediest connections nationwide outstrip this average by about 4 mbps. The state with the speediest average connection is Vermont, at 12.7 mbps, followed closely by New Hampshire and Delaware, at 12.0 and 11.9 mbps. Also among the tops on this list are Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
The Northeast houses most of the top 10 states on the list. According to the Broadband Statistics report, the number of providers offering higher speed Internet are found in greater quantities in this region than any other part of the country. The amount of providers in an area increases competition, and results in faster services being offered for the consumer.
The Coveted Top 10 Countries
Of course, you may want to know where local Internet options rank among the national average, but what about their standing in the world as a whole? Globally, average Internet speeds are becoming faster and faster. “State of the Internet” shows that while the United States did make the top 10 for average Internet speed, it was not in first place. Which countries beat out the U.S.?
10. Denmark: 8.2 mbps
9. United States: 8.6 mbps
8. Sweden: 8.9 mbps
7. Czech Republic: 9.6 mbps
6. Latvia: 9.8 mbps
5. Netherlands: 9.9 mbps
4. Switzerland: 10.1 mbps
3. Hong Kong: 10.9 mbps
2. Japan: 11.7 mbps
1. South Korea: 14.2 mbp
Why South Korea?
Earlier this year, South Korea had the world’s largest number of broadband services per capita, budde.com.au reported. This indicates the demand for high-speed Internet has initiated the emergence of swifter service. Additionally, the country itself has invested heavily in laying the groundwork and infrastructure to support the growing need for faster Internet. This investment has allowed more providers access to the broadband market, making it easier for consumers to get connected.
As is outlined in the National Broadband Plan, approximately 96 percent of the United States is limited to choosing between only two Internet service providers. Broadband service providers are more apt to offer upgrades faced with increased competition, and this competition is what has allowed other parts of the world to boast Internet speeds that outrank the United States.
If the United States wants to become a formidable contender in this market, more competition may create the incentive necessary to boost the speed of Internet connections.