U.S. broadband speeds are improving, but still far behind global leaders

Average global Internet service speeds grew an impressive 24% annually to 3.9Mbps in the first quarter of 2014, according to the recently released “State of the Internet Report” from Akamai. The United States showed solid improvements as well in terms of Web speeds, with the national average connection rate climbing 31% to 10.5Mbps. While that figure is impressive compared to the global average, and is also up a healthy 9% from the fourth quarter last year, it still lags global leaders by a big margin.

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According to Akamai, average Internet service speeds in South Korea jumped a remarkable 145% annually in the first quarter to reach 23.6Mbps. That figure was more than good enough for the No. 1 spot globally, and was 9Mbps faster than Japan’s 14.6Mbps national average in the No. 2 position.

Hong Kong, Switzerland and the Netherlands rounded out the top 5 with average Internet speeds of 13.3Mbps, 12.7Mbps and 12.4Mbps, respectively.

America’s national average of 10.5Mbps placed it in the No. 12 position globally.

Drilling down to the state level, Virginia had the fastest average Internet speeds in the country at 13.7Mbps, which was down sequentially but up 30% compared to the first quarter last year. The East Coast actually managed to secure each of the top 5 spots in the country, as Virginia was followed by Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. in Akamai’s average speed rankings.

“On a year-over-year basis, all of the states in the top 10 saw higher average connection speeds as compared to the first quarter of 2013,” Akamai said in its report. “The smallest change was seen in New Hampshire, where the 6.0% increase was the only one under 10% among the top 10 states, while Michigan had the largest yearly increase, at 42%. Vermont was the only state across the whole country to see a year-over-year decline in its average connection speed — the cause of this decline has been discussed in prior issues of the State of the Internet Report. Year-over-year connection speed increases across the other states ranged from 6.0% in neighboring New Hampshire to an impressive 91% in Kansas (to 8.6 Mbps).”

The firm’s full State of the Internet Report can be downloaded by following the link below in our source section.

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This article was originally published on BGR.com

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