Live in the South or West? Not so much. The five slowest:
• Mississippi — 3.7 mbps
• South Carolina — 3.6 mbps
• Arkansas — 3.1 mbps
• Idaho — 2.6 mbps
• Alaska — 2.3 mbps
On average, the average Internet download speed in the U.S. increased just 1.6 megabits per second between 2007 (3.5 mpbs) and 2009 (5.1 mpbs). The average speed for uploads was even worse, barely increasing from 873 kbps to 1.1 mbps in that same time. At that rate, the report said, it would take 15 years before the U.S. had average download speeds in the range of South Korea's today.
It's worth noting the test, in its third year, is a project of Communication Workers of America, the labor union that represents employees in telecom fields, which includes telephone companies and Internet providers (which are often one and the same).
Still, 28 nations have faster average download speeds than the U.S., including:
• South Korea — 20.4 mbps
• Japan — 15.8 mbps
• Sweden — 12.8 mbps
• Netherlands — 11.0 mbps
The report noted the U.S. remained the only industrialized nation without a national policy to promote high-speed Internet access, though that's being worked on. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law this year did include $7.2 billion in grants for broadband installation in unserved and underserved areas of the nation, as well as a call for a national broadband plan by Spring 2010, which the Federal Communications Commission is currently working on.
Test Your Connection Speed Here
A speedy Internet is vital to the nation's economic growth, the report stated, as it defines what it's possible to do online. While there has been much talk about home-based medical monitoring (which would involve DIY medical record-keeping and, therefore, the need to be able to transfer large files to one's doctor), distance learning and more people being able to work from home either through telecommuting or a home-based business, slow Internet connections can hamper the practicality.
The entire report, including state-by-state breakdowns, can be downloaded here.
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