California broadband improves but still falls short of excellence

26 March 2016 by Steve Blum
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Average Internet speeds continue to rise in California and across the U.S. Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report shows the average Internet connection from Californian users to its content distribution network servers at 15.3 Mbps in the fourth quarter of 2015. That’s a 22% increase from a year before, and more than double – 107% – from three years before, when the average California connection clocked in at a mere 7.4%. Other states saw similar improvements…

In the fourth quarter, average connection speeds among the top 10 states continued the momentum from the third quarter with robust increases seen across the board…All 10 states had average connection speeds meeting the 15 Mbps threshold — up from 8 in the previous quarter—but none had average connection speeds reaching the FCC’s new 25 Mbps broadband threshold.

Looking across all 51 states [including the District of Columbia], 49 saw average connection speeds above the 10 Mbps threshold compared with 44 in the third quarter. Kentucky and Alaska—the two states with the slowest speeds—were not far behind the rest, both seeing average connection speeds of 9.8 Mbps

California did not rank in the top 10, falling far below Delaware’s 20.4 Mbps average and trailing behind tenth place Washington’s 16.7 Mbps mark. Even so, one-third of Californian users were at or above the 15 Mbps level, which is a significant benchmark – that’s the point at which the connection would support 4K video service.

California still has work to do, with 14% of Akamai users falling below the 4 Mbps level, which is the rock bottom standard used by federal agencies to determine whether an area – usually rural – is served or not.