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Good news! US broadband internet speeds are increasing

Good news! US broadband internet speeds are increasing

This should cheer you up. According to Ookla's U.S. Fixed Broadband Performance Report, broadband speeds in the United States have dramatically increased in the past year due to the expansion of gigabit internet services around the country. Download speeds, in particular, saw a substantial 35.8% increase while upload speeds increased by a modest but still decent 22%.

Due to these improvements, the U.S. has been catapulted to 7th place in the global broadband internet speed rankings for download speeds, between Hungary and Switzerland. On upload speeds, however, the U.S. is still a middling contender at 27th place, ranked between Bulgaria and Canada.

This report is based on data collected by Ookla's popular Speedtest tool during the second and third quarters of 2018. During this period, 23,283,160 unique gadgets performed over 115 million user broadband speed tests with the Speedtest tool.

After analyzing the data, Ookla was able to identify the U.S. internet speed providers that provide the fastest and most consistent speeds. Not only that, but the report also has performance data for all 50 U.S. states and the 100 largest cities in the country.

Note: Keep in mind that this data is for "fixed broadband" wired internet only and it does not include mobile internet speeds.

Average nationwide broadband speeds

For the second and third quarters of 2018, the average fixed broadband download speed in the U.S. was pegged at 95.25 Mbps while upload speed was at 32.88 Mbps. For comparison, the U.S. ranked 9th place in 2017 with averages of  70.75 Mbps for downloads and 32.88 Mbps for uploads.

Image credit: Ookla

Here are the fastest U.S. fixed broadband providers and their Ookla Speed Scores:

  1. XFINITY - 104.67
  2. Verizon - 102.57
  3. Cox - 101.84
  4. Spectrum - 87.56
  5. AT&T Internet - 76.00
  6. CenturyLink - 28.32

Image Credit: Ookla

XFINITY is fastest in nine states while Cox gets top speeds in three states. Spectrum was the fastest six states and gets a tie in one. Verizon tops five states and gets a tie in one.

Fiber services are also contributing to the surge with Google Fiber and Suddenlink ranking first in three states. The slowest provider remains to be CenturyLink, as it failed to get top marks in any state.

Fixed broadband speeds by state

The report's state-to-state results were also interesting. The state with the fastest fixed broadband speed was New Jersey and the slowest state was Maine. In fact, the East Coast had five states (New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island) plus D.C. in the top 10.

Next to Maine, Montana had the slowest speeds followed by Montana, Idaho and Vermont. This suggests that there are less broadband infrastructure investments in states with big swaths of rural areas and low population numbers.

Fixed broadband speeds by city

On the city level, Kansas City had the fastest download speeds in the U.S. with 159.19 Mbps followed by Austin, Texas, with 143.66. It's not surprising since both cities have Google Fiber as their fastest internet providers.

On the other end of the scale, Memphis came in last at 44.86 Mbps followed by Laredo, Texas, with 55.37.

Image credit: Ookla

More improvements in the pipeline

Nationwide improvements in U.S. fixed broadband speeds are always welcome, but according to Ookla, these increases still vary widely depending on location and provider. However, as fiber networks and gigabit services expand across the country, we are expecting more substantial increases across the country in the near future. Maybe in a couple of years time, we'll finally crack the top five in global broadband speed rankings.

Click here to read Ookla's full report.

How to check your internet speed

Do you feel like your internet is running slow? Are websites not loading or are videos buffering for what seems like forever? Well, there are a few tools that can test your internet speed and show you just how bad, or good, it may be. Click here to learn how.

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