Policy Analysis | November 2008

How do the SLC states rank in the prevalence of high-speed broadband networks?

High speed Internet is essential for economic growth and global competitiveness. The United States – the country that invented the Internet – has fallen from 1st to 15th in high-speed Internet penetration. The emergence of a new telecommunications system – one based on high-speed interactive networks designed for voice, data, and video communications – opens up tremendous opportunities for improving the quality of economic, civic, and personal lives. Conversely, the lack of widespread high-speed connections can hinder innovations in telemedicine, education, public safety, and home-based businesses. A recent report by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) highlights some of the benefits of an effective state-wide, high-speed broadband network:

  • Economic growth in the form of electronic innovation, growth, and e-commerce
  • Creation of quality jobs with high wages and good benefits
  • Telemedicine that allows remote monitoring, efficient chronic disease management, and more effective responses to emergencies
  • Independent living for senior citizens and people with disabilities
  • Rural development; encourages remote communities to expand their markets and access to services
  • Education and integrated learning that allows students and teachers to minimize the obstacles of distance and maximize the potential of voice, data, and video sharing
  • Worker training by online courses
  • E-government and civic participation to streamline governmental processes and provide easily accessible information to constituents
  • Public safety and first responders; emergency personnel can better coordinate and respond to crises

In addition to the report, the CWA also has ranked all the states in the nation by their respective average internet download speeds and created model legislation to initiate the necessary growth in the electronic communications industry.

Average Internet Speeds in the SLC States

Download Speed Ranking
(within SLC)
Download Speed Ranking (nationwide) State Number of Internet Speed Tests Conducted Median Download Speed (kilobytes per second)
1
4
Virginia
8,004
5,033
2
7
Florida
11,194
3,988
3
8
Maryland
4,625
3,981
4
9
Georgia
4,715
3,041
5
11
North Carolina
4,568
2,925
6
14
South Carolina
1,971
2,849
7
17
Tennessee
3,129
2,755
8
18
Louisiana
1,748
2,706
9
22
Texas
12,612
2,526
10
33
Alabama
2,027
2,213
11
37
West Virginia
2,286
1,987
12
39
Missouri
5,194
1,881
13
40
Oklahoma
1,895
1,856
14
41
Kentucky
2,320
1,795
15
43
Mississippi
865
1,567
16
46
Arkansas
1,374
1,342
         
8.5
18.5
SLC Average
68,527
2,653
9.5
28.5
U.S. Average
229,494
2,346

Source: A Report on Internet Speeds in All 50 States, Speed Matters: A Project of Communications Workers of America, August 2008.