Best State for Broadband? New Hampshire.

By October 01, 2009

New Hampshire is the fastest state in the union. At least in terms of internet speed. The home of Mount Washington -- which, incidentally, holds the record for highest recorded winds on Earth -- had an average connection speed of 6.4 Mbps in Q2 2009, dropping the previous leader, Delaware to second with an average speed of 6.3 Mbps, according to Akamai's Q2 "State of the Internet" report. New Hampshire is the only state with more than 50 percent of its connections averaging 5 Mbps. As on the global level, so at the state scale: what ultimately dictates broadband speed is the size of the territory you need to cover. Which is why the seven fastest states are in the Northeast.

Following New Hampshire and Delaware are:

New York (6.4 Mbps)
Vermont (5.4 Mbps)
Rhode Island (5.4 Mbps)
Connecticut (5.2 Mbps)
Maine (5.2 Mbps)
Nevada (5.2 Mbps)
Indiana (5.1 Mbps)
Oklahoma (4.9 Mbps)

Q2 was a bad time overall for connection speeds, as forty states as well as the District of Columbia saw average speeds fall. Ten states actually lost average connection speed year-over-year; the biggest loss was in Georgia, where average connection speeds declined 21 percent.

On the other hand, seven states -- Maine, Vermont, New Mexico, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia and Hawaii -- saw increases of 25 percent or more year-over-year.

The Northeast also owns broadband penetration, having five of the top seven states (Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New Hampshire). The only two states in the top ten which are not on the east coast are Oregon and Nevada.

Overall US internet penetration increased 13.1 percent year-over-year, despite a small negative change between Q1 and Q2. Data suggests that the number of new US broadband subscribers is the lowest it has been in eight years.

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