Does it feel like Web sites are loading a little faster? If so, it might be because broadband capacity grew across the country in the first quarter of this year.
Internet connections were strongest in Delaware, which posted an average peak of 85.6 megabits per second, according to the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai Technologies, which delivers a sizable share of all Web traffic for clients such as Yahoo, IBM and several federal agencies and departments. D.C. and Virginia were close behind with speeds of 79.2 and 79 Mbps, respectively. Capacity was lowest in Kentucky, where the average peak speed was 37.1 Mbps.
Exactly half the states and D.C. posted increases of 10 percent or more, compared to just three states with double-digit increases in the final quarter of 2014. Unlike the quarter before, every state saw speeds increase during the first quarter of 2015, with exactly half posting double-digit gains. Washington, D.C., and Kansas posted the biggest gains, of 20 percent. Tennessee saw the smallest gains of just 2.7 percent.
While Akamai also measures average overall speeds, the report’s authors argue that the average peak — an average of the highest connection speed from each unique IP address in a region — better measures Internet capacity.
Speeds have generally increased over the past few quarters and there’s good reason to expect that growth to continue, the authors suggest. Not only did the F.C.C. more than quadruple the broadband benchmark definition to 25 Mbps, but President Obama in January also announced several proposals to expand broadband access, including enticements to expand rural access.
“At the state level, a number of initiatives were announced as well — including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s commitment of up to $50 million in capital funding to support the expansion of broadband access throughout Western Massachusetts and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that $500 million in state funds would be offered as incentives to telecommunications companies investing in networks delivering minimum broadband speeds of 100 Mbps,” the authors write. Locally, a number of providers also announced significant expansions of high-speed service, too.
Here’s a look at how state connection speeds compare to other countries: