American Broadband Speeds Improve, Still Not In Top 10 Globally

States in the Mid-Atlantic and New England dominate the lists of America's fastest connection speeds.

States in the Mid-Atlantic and New England dominate the lists of America’s fastest connection speeds.

On this weekend when we celebrate the founding of the United States of America, we can rest assured that our broadband speeds are certainly improving, up 31% in just a year, according to a new survey of global broadband connections. Much like the recent World Cup showing, that’s something to be proud of, but still doesn’t put us among the world’s elite.

The folks at Akamai have released their State of the Internet report [PDF] [via BGR.com], which shows that the U.S. has made significant improvements to the speeds it delivers to Internet users.

The average connection speed in the States is now 10.5Mpbs, up 31% from a year ago, and enough to beat out Canada’s 9.5Mbps average. But while we may have the fastest connections on this side of the globe, we’ve got some catching up do in order to claim the world’s best broadband.

The U.S. did not make the cut for the world's fastest connection speeds.

The U.S. did not make the cut for the world’s fastest connection speeds.

South Korea continues to lead the pack with its 23.6Mpbs average nine megabits faster than the runner-up, Japan (14.6Mbps). And while our 34% year-over-year jump in speed is impressive, many of the countries with faster broadband connections are also improving at a similar clip.

Japan’s average connection speeds jumped 29% in a year, while Sweden (11.6Mbps) improved by 30% and Finland and Ireland (both 10.7Mpbs) are outpacing America with speed increases of 37% and 47%, respectively.

The U.S.’s 10.5Mbps lands us at 12th overall. One category in which the U.S. cracks the top 10 is the percentage of users with broadband connections of more than 10Mbps. Our 36% is good enough for 7th place, though again it’s less than half of South Korea’s 77% and is also dwarfed by Japan’s 54%.

Of course, the sheer size — both geographically and in terms of population — of the U.S. makes it difficult for our average numbers to beat those of countries with significantly smaller user bases and higher population densities.

Akamai identified nearly 163 million unique users in its survey. The only country that was even close was China, with 123.5 million. The number of addresses in the U.S. is four times that of Japan and eight times that of Korea. Many of the other countries that beat out the U.S. in terms of connection speeds have even fewer users.

In terms of the U.S., seven of the ten states with the fastest average connections are in the Mid-Atlantic/New England region, with Virginia (13.7Mbps) being the fastest in the nation. Only Utah and Michigan represent the rest of the country in the top 10.

And when it comes to average peak connections, Michigan is the only state that isn’t along the D.C. to Boston Corridor. And then the ten states with the highest percentage of users with connections of 15Mbps or more contains only states from the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Just to keep things in the spirit of the July 4th weekend, it’s worth noting that the U.S. fared better than the U.K. on the survey, just like it did at the World Cup, and just like it did in the Revolutionary War.

Take that, King George!