The US has fallen from the eighth spot to the ninth in terms of countries with the fastest internet speed in the world. This is according to a report by Akamai, an internet content delivery network that handles about 33 per cent of the world’s online traffic.
The firm’s report revealed that the US lags behind South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Sweden. Despite the slip, the average internet speed in the US rose by 27 per cent from a year ago, noted Akamai.
It is speculated that internet providers are struggling to boost connection speeds in the US due to the country’s large size and population.
However, critics also contend that the absence of real competition is a contributing factor because it has enabled several firms to dominate the market, leading to higher connection prices and fewer choices.
“In Seoul, when you move into an apartment, you have a choice of three or four providers selling you symmetric fibre access for US$30 per month, and installation happens in one day,” said Susan Crawford, a teacher and tech analyst at New York-based Cardozo Law School.
Overall, average internet speed in the US stands at 8.6 megabytes (MB) per second, compared to number one spot South Korea with 14.2 MB per second.
Vermont residents should consider themselves lucky. The average internet speed there is 12.7 MB per second, making it faster than second place Japan. Completing the top five US states with the highest web speeds are New Hampshire, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Utah.