U.S. Lags Behind Latvia in Broadband Speeds
The average download speed for the U.S., reports CWA, is 5.2 megabits per second, but that could be drastically slower depending on where you live. Delaware has the fastest connection of any state, with an average of 9.9 megabits per second, while Alaska and Montana lag behind with a 2.3 average.
Why the vast difference? Much of it is due to the dispersed nature of the physical infrastructure of the Internet in the U.S. Telecom companies have consistently reserved faster speeds and better service for larger, more populated areas.
In a worldwide comparison by Speedtest.net, which CWA cites in its study, the U.S. (which averages 6.8 mbps in Speedtest's calculation) is the slowest country of the 29 surveyed. That's right. Dead last. South Korea is in the lead with a staggering 20.4 megabits per second, its average citizen being able to download a full-length movie in a matter of seconds. Japan and Sweden are also (unsurprisingly) better connected than us, and even Latvia is twice as fast with an impressive 12.4 average.
According to USA Today, the FCC is developing a "national broadband strategy," devoting $7 billion to encourage broadband expansion. [From: USA Today]