(Akamai)

Broadband speeds are expanding nationwide and the conditions seem good for even more growth.

All but seven states saw average peak connection speeds grow between the third and fourth quarters of 2014, an indication that Internet connection capacity is growing across the country, according to a new State of the Internet report from Akamai Technologies, which hosts content online.

Delaware held onto its top ranking among the states, with average peak speeds of 75.4 megabits per second. Virginia jumped four spots to claim second place at 73.5 Mbps.  D.C. was third at 65.9 Mbps, followed by Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Kentucky unseated Arkansas as the state with the slowest average peak speeds, clocking in at 34 Mbps. Akamai argues that the average peak connection speed is most representative of Internet connection capacity.

Speeds have gained over the past few quarters and that trend is expected to continue, Akamai reports.

“Many of the efforts to increase connection speeds are being taken at a local/municipal level and may not have an immediate state-wide impact upon completion, but are part of ongoing initiatives that are becoming more widespread across the country,” the company noted.

Throughout the fourth quarter a number of municipalities announced the rollout of gigabit-speed Internet, including those in Arizona, California, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Oregon.

At the state level, Kentucky partnered with a private company to build a $250 million to $350 million in fiber backbone throughout the state and a public/private initiative in Connecticut aims to connect roughly half the population to gigabit-speed, fiber-optic Internet, according to the report.

“The fact that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has pushed to change the definition of ‘broadband’ to 25 Mbps from 4 Mbps is also indicative of the continued march towards faster connectivity in more and more places,” they note.


(Akamai)