State of the Net

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Washington State is the slowest in the union? A new report captures the highs and lows of Internet connection speeds across the nation and the globe. Akamai, which hosts pictures, audio, and video for other websites, released its first State of the Internet report yesterday.

The study had some surprising figures. As Ars Technica joked: Washington State, home of Microsoft and Amazon, is the slowest when it comes to connection speeds – but Oklahoma is in the top five speediest?

Akamai couldn’t figure out why the Evergreen State floundered. The number of sluggish dial-up connections coming out of Washington rose 151 percent since the end of last year, hitting 21 percent. That trend doesn’t make any sense, Akamai acknowledged. Perhaps it’s just a fluke?

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As for Oklahoma, one-third of connections clocked in at high-broadband speeds (more than 5 Mbps) and 78 percent were standard-broadband (more than 2 Mbps). Topping the broadband list: Delaware, whose business-friendly tax laws attract countless corporate headquarters and small size means there’s little room for major rural areas.

Internationally, South Korea swept. No surprise there. Japan and Korea have topped the lists for years, thanks to their high percentage of urbanites and large investments in broadband.

But, curiously, Nepal was close behind the United States. Twenty percent of American net connections reach high-broadband speeds, according to Akamai. In Nepal, it’s 16 percent – enough to push the country into ninth place internationally. (I'm looking into why Nepal is so high. I'll post my findings here on the blog.) The US was seventh, behind Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Sweden, Romania, and Belgium.

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