Internet connection speeds in California are better than the national average, but not by much and not by enough to be amongst the leaders. According to Akamai’s State of the Internet Report for the first quarter of 2016, the average speed at which Californians connected to its content distribution network was 16.4 Mbps. That compares favorably to the U.S. average of 15.3 Mbps, but it is well behind the leader, Delaware, which averaged 21.2 Mbps.
In the west, California was beaten by both Washington – 17.4 Mbps – and Utah – 19.7 Mbps. Both states ranked in the top ten nationwide.
Or, rather, top nine: Akamai reckons Washington D.C. to be a state, and it was at the top of the chart with a 24.0 average. That’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, though, and Akamai shouldn’t be making it. Regardless of its unique constitutional status, Washington D.C. is a city and should be compared to other cities. There was no such data in Akamai’s report, but I would guess that if you rolled other major metropolises into the rankings, most, if not all, would score higher than the states. Urban areas have better broadband infrastructure and service than rural areas, and that brings the state averages down.
The percentage of Californians who connect to Akamai’s network at speed more or less tracks with the U.S. average. In California, 88% of connections to Akamai were from broadband service plans rated at 4 Mbps or better. That number slips to 59% at 10 Mbps and 37% at 15 Mbps. Those scores were well behind the leaders – 98% of Delaware connections come from 4 Mbps or better accounts and 57% are at 15 Mbps – but hover within a percentage point or two of the U.S. average.