The latest Akamai report on global broadband speeds and rankings is out – based on Q4 2011 research. The news isn’t great for the US, it’s even worse for Minnesota.
- Average Broadband Connection Speeds – The US comes in 13.
- Average Peak Connection Speeds – The US comes in 10.
- Broadband Connectivity (broadband adoption) – The US comes in 12 for connectivity over 5 Mbps; we rank at 35 for connectivity over 2 Mbps.
- Narrowband Connectivity – The US comes in 27 for narrowband connectivity.
And here’s a quick reminder on Minnesota’s goals…
It is a goal of the state that by 2015 and thereafter, the state be in:
(1) the top five states of the United States for broadband speed universally accessible to residents and businesses;
(2) the top five states for broadband access; and
(3) the top 15 when compared to countries globally for broadband penetration.
Here’s how the US ranks in the latest report. The good news for the US is that there is some incremental improvement:
Average Broadband Connection Speeds – The US has bumped up from 13 to 12.
Average Peak Connection Speeds – The US has bumped up from 10 to 8.
Broadband Connectivity (broadband adoption) – The US comes in 10 for percentage connectivity over 10 Mbps and 14 for percentage connectivity over 4 Mbps (we were at 12 for 5 Mbps). We formerly ranked at 35 for percentage connectivity over 2 Mbps.
No improvement seen in Minnesota’s ranking because we didn’t make one of the Top Ten lists of Minnesota states. (Akamai only shows top 10 states.) We were called out as one of the few states that has seen slower growth than most…
Only Minnesota, California, and Nebraska improved [average connection speed] by less than 10% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, though they did not trail very far behind, with average growth rates around 9%.
So we’re not ranking well, we’re not improving our average connection speeds as quickly as most states, but we’re not doing as poorly as Arkansas, which has the lowest connection – although their growth was 14 percent compared to our 9 (or so) percent. Most of the states that are ranking well are based on the East Coast and they are smaller states, which can be easier to serve due to size. I offer that up to recognize the trend, not to say it’s an excuse. I think it just means we need to try a little harder or invest a little more to help our businesses and residents compete!
One interesting non-US, non-Minnesota note – this is the last report that Akamai is redefining some definitions:
- The report has defined “broadband” as connections to Akamai at speeds of 2 Mbps or greater for the last four years. Going forward, we are revising the definition with a 4 Mbps threshold.
- The report has defined “high broadband” as connections to Akamai at speeds of 5 Mbps or greater for the last four years. Going forward, we are revising the definition with a 10 Mbps threshold.
- We have decided to remove narrowband adoption statistics from the report going forward.
I’m glad to see the change in definitions – because I think folks cling to the lowest common denominators as if calling them “broadband” makes the more palatable to use.