Led by Berkeley, California, at the end of 2009, college towns are among the fastest cities in the US, according to Akamai’s latest The State of the Internet report. In order to qualify, Akamai put a filter of a minimum of 50,000 unique IP addresses. Chapel Hill (North Carolina), Stanford (California), Durham (North Carolina) and Ithaca (New York) made up the top five cities in the US.
US might not rank top in most broadband categories, but it was interesting to note that Berkeley, Chapel Hill and Stanford are the top three fastest cities in the world, followed by Masan (South Korea) and Oxford (Great Britain.) San Francisco and other Bay Area cities are no where to be found on the top 100 cities list, and neither is New York. US towns/cities that play host to colleges and universities are well represented in the global top 100 cities list — once again showing the importance of educational institutions and networks to the overall evolution of the Internet.
When Akamai source data based on the number of unique IP addresses seen by Akamai, New York City was the fastest city with average speed of 5.139 Mbps, followed by San Diego, Oakland, Las Vegas and Baltimore. San Francisco didn’t make the top ten. Delaware is the fastest state in the Union — 7.6 Mbps, a jump of 5.2 percent from the third quarter. The increase in the number of mobile connections also brought down the average Internet connection speeds. Overall, 31 states saw average connection speeds increase in the fourth quarter – up from 25 the prior quarter. Notable gains included South Dakota’s 18 percent jump to 4.5 Mbps.
The FiOS Effect.
It is interesting to see how much of a positive impact Verizon’s FiOS has had on the broadband situation. A break down of top ten states shows that whenever available, more and more people are opting for higher broadband speeds. The presence of fiber-based FiOS has pushed rival cable companies to upgrade their networks and offer higher tier services. You can see that reflected in the speed breakdown as shown by this chart.