U.S. Broadband Speeds Gaining Fast

Around the world the Internet keeps getting faster, with U.S. broadband adoption helping to pave the way.

According to the first quarter 2013 State of the Internet report from Akamai, global average Internet connection speeds grew to 3.1 Mbps, a 17 percent year-over-year gain.

In the U.S, the first quarter average broadband speed was 8.6 Mbps, a 27 percent year-over-year increase. Across the top ten broadband nations, only the Czech Republic, with 34 percent growth, and Sweden at 32 percent, grew faster than the U.S.

“While the general trend towards growth across the key connectivity metrics continues to be encouraging, we were surprised by just how strong both the short- and long-term increases were in many geographies, including within the United States, and across countries in the Americas,” David Belson, editor, State of the Internet Report, told Enterprise Networking Planet.

In addition to average connection speed, Akamai also measures the average peak connection speed. The difference between the two is that average peak measures the average of the maximum connected speed as opposed to just the average of all speeds.

For the average peak connection speed, the U.S does not fare as well as it does on the average measured speed. In fact, the U.S. doesn’t even crack the global top ten. The global average peak connection speed hit 18.4 Mbps in the first qstate of the internet 1q13uarter, a 36 percent year-over-year gain. The top nation was Hong Kong, with an average peak of 63.6 Mbps, followed by Japan at 50 Mbps. The U.S. ranks 11th for average peak connection, coming in at 36.6 Mbps.

Akamai also measures and ranks nations by their level of high broadband penetration. Akamai defines high broadband as connection speeds greater than 10 Mbps. Globally during the first quarter, 13 percent of all connections were high broadband, a 28 percent yearly gain. In the U.S., 25 percent of all connections are now high broadband, a 69 percent year-over-year increase.

U.S. State Speeds

Looking within the U.S., Vermont tops the list for average connection speeds at 12.7 Mbps, a 40 percent gain over the first quarter of 2012. In terms of average peak connection speeds, Vermont holds the second spot at 47.1 Mbps, narrowly edged out by the District of Columbia at 47.2 Mbps.

Looking at high broadband connectivity within the U.S., New Hampshire leads the pack with 48 percent penetration for a 65 percent year-over-year gain. New Jersey, however, had the most impressive growth with 100 percent year-over-year gains, currently giving the state 45 percent high broadband penetration.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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