Here’s the bad news straight from the horse’s mouth (the 2009 SpeedMatters Report on Internet Speeds in All 50 States:
The 2009 speedmatters.org survey finds that the average download speed for the nation was 5.1 megabits per second (mbps) and the average upload speed was 1.1 mbps. These speeds are just slightly faster than the 2008 speedmatters. org results of 4.2 megabits per second (mbps) download and 873 kilobits per second (kbps) upload. In other words, between 2008 and 2009, the average download speed increased by only nine-tenths of a megabit per second (from 4.2 mbps to 5.1 mbps), and the average upload speed barely changed (from 873 kbps to 1.1 mbps). At this rate, it will take the United States 15 years to catch up with current Internet speeds in South Korea. Moreover, the average upload speed from the speedmatters.org survey is far too slow for patient monitoring or to transmit large files such as medical records.
So one answer is to get South Korea to rest on its laurels – except that as the report points out – we’d have to be talking to more than 2 dozen countries about treading water until we catch up because the US ranks 28th for average Internet connection. Another bad statistic – we rank 15th in terms of take rate, or percentage of population that subscribes to broadband. So who’s not signing up for broadband? Well, rural areas for one. Only 46 percent of rural households sign up, compared to 67 percent of urban homes.
Minnesota ranks slightly better than the average state with an average download speed of 5.4 mbps and the average upload speed is 1.5 mbps.