With a jump of 10Mbps over the past year, the United States has broken the 30Mbps barrier in average downstream connection speed for the first time, according to data received from Ookla. The nation’s average speed of 33.9Mbps ranks 27th in the world, outstripping the UK (30.18 Mbps), Germany (29.95 Mbps), Spain (28.28 Mbps), Russia (27.7 Mbps), and Ireland (27.29 Mbps). Unfortunately, the U.S. lags far behind many others, such as South Korea (84.31 Mbps) and Japan (60.49Mbps).
A large part of this average speed boost is due to the inexpensive upgrades cable operators are able to implement due to DOCSIS 3.0, as well as the Google Fiber installations that have popped up in select pockets of the country and run at an average of 230.69Mbps. The states with the fastest average speeds include Washington, Missouri, and California, while Kansas City MO, Austin TX, New York NY, and North Hollywood CA, are among the fastest cities.
A dark cloud looms, however. Cable companies have been upgrading their services; DSL companies have not. Behemoths like AT&T and Verizon are in retreat, actively identifying markets in which they don’t want to upgrade and leaving these regions bereft of true market competition. This leaves large swaths of the populace subject to the whims of big cable, who have not had stellar reputations when it comes to price or customer service. It’s one thing to offer the carrot of faster Internet; it’s decidedly another continue to offer the worst customer service in any industry, bar none.