These Are the States With the Fastest and Slowest Internet

Illustration for article titled These Are the States With the Fastest and Slowest Internet
Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty)

A report on internet speeds across the country released on Wednesday shows which cities and states have the slowest and fastest broadband—and which providers are the fastest.

Internet testing company Ookla says it measured internet speeds from more than 24 million unique users while making the report of fixed broadband speeds for the second and third quarters of this year.

The good news out of the report is that, over the last year, there has apparently been a 22 percent increase in mean upload speed and a 35.8 percent increase in mean download speed over the last year across the United States. The company claims this puts the U.S. 7th in the ranking of download speeds, slower than Hungary but faster than Switzerland, and 27th in the ranking of upload speeds.


Within the U.S., New Jersey had the fastest mean download speed (121 Mbps) and Maine had the slowest (50 Mbps), according to the report. Next slowest was Wyoming, followed by Montana, Idaho, and Vermont.

Ookla’s test shows that Memphis, Tennessee, has the slowest internet of any U.S. city (average download speed 44.86 Mbps, average upload speed 12.96 Mbps). The fastest city is apparently Kansas City, Missouri (average download speed 159.19 Mbps, average upload speed 127.03), which was the first city to get Google Fiber.

Illustration for article titled These Are the States With the Fastest and Slowest Internet
Screenshot: Ookla

Some of the other fastest cities also have Google Fiber, like Austin (average download speed 9143.66 Mbps, average upload speed 70.65 Mbps) and Raleigh, North Carolina (average download speed 137.7 Mbps, average upload speed 75.62 Mbps). But the fastest provider across the country, according to the study, was Xfinity, followed by Spectrum, Cox, Verizon, and AT&T.


Check the report to see if your city was included on the list.

Former senior reporter at Gizmodo

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I think that report (not your article) is somewhat misleading though, mostly because it’s a by state average. It seems to indicate that the US has a healthy internet infrastructure nation wide, but this is hardly the truth. Break it down by county nation wide, and it would become very apparent that we have a significant issue.

Rural internet infrastructure is abysmal. It’s sort of shown in the report when you look at predominantly rural states like Montana or Wyoming that don’t feature many large population centers to skew the results.

Rural internet providers typically have the lowest internet speeds, and have absolutely no incentive to increase them or install new infrastructure. There’s no competition because no one wants to run new infrastructure because the cost per mile isn’t worth the amount of customers gained. This results in a completely stagnant market with no major improvement.

This is why Centurylink is at the bottom of the list in most of the report, because they are overwhelmingly the most popular rural internet provider. Their infrastructure is woefully outdated, as is their cost models. To put it into perspective, I pay 75 a month for 10mbps DOWNLOAD speeds. Seriously. And even then, it rarely gets to that, it’s generally around 7. Upload speed is a fraction of that, sometimes even dipping below 1mbps. This is the only game in town, I have no other internet provider, short of Hughes Net. To be fair to Centurylink, they’ve been relatively decent to deal with, and I understand and accept their limitations.

The avenue to fixing this problem is almost 100% political though. It’s going to take the government (state or federal) to force internet providers into rural communities.