The Right Way to Measure Internet Speeds

logo-cable-horizontal_GLOWAs a competitive nation, Americans will be disappointed with anything other than the biggest haul of gold medals from the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. This competitive spirit doesn’t end with athletics – it’s also apparent when comparing U.S. resources and services like education, cost of living, and Internet access to those in other countries.

But is it fair to compare the U.S. with other countries – especially those that are only a fraction of its size? According to data from a leading Internet measurement firm, when measuring broadband speeds, a more accurate way to compare the U.S. is to not consider the entire nation, but individual states to countries of similar size. After all, geographically, a country like Switzerland has a lot more in common with Maryland than it does the U.S. as a whole.

So, while data from Akamai shows that the U.S. ranks eighth in world average broadband connection speeds (up from 22nd a mere four years ago), there’s more to these numbers than just comparing average megabits per second.

The top-ranked countries are relatively small and are centered around densely populated cities. These factors play a big part in connecting a population to high-speed Internet and, if disparate land and population sizes were taken into account, the U.S. is nearly unparalleled.

If Akamai’s rankings of top states and top countries are merged, nine of the top fifteen fastest average broadband connections speeds in the world are found in the United States. Places like Massachusetts, Virginia, and Delaware have broadband speeds akin to South Korea and Japan.

Click on the infographic to see regions with the world’s fastest Internet speeds are found throughout the U.S.