akamaiMore than a third (35%) of U.S. broadband users experienced average connection speeds of 15 Mbps or higher in the first quarter of 2016, according to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report. That’s an increase in the 15 Mbps broadband adoption rate of 63% over the same period a year earlier and an 11% increase over the previous quarter.

The increase likely reflects growing use of high-bandwidth offerings, particularly streaming video, as well as increased availability of high-bandwidth services.

Akamai also found that 57% of U.S. broadband users experienced speeds of at least 10 Mbps, up 29% over the previous year and 7% over the previous quarter.

The average broadband connection speed in the U.S. in the study period was 15.3 Mbps, according to Akamai – up 29% over the same period a year ago and 7.7% over the previous quarter.

While average broadband connection speed indicates average data consumption rates, the average peak data rate more closely approximates the maximum speed of a user’s connection. The average peak connection speed in the U.S. was 67.8 Mbps according to the latest Akamai research – up 27% over the same period a year earlier and 10% over the previous quarter.

15 Mbps Broadband Adoption Rate by State
Connection speeds vary considerably by state, however.

Delaware had the highest 15Mbps broadband adoption rate, with 57% of broadband users in that state averaging connection speeds of at least 15 Mbps. Other states in the top 10, measured by 15Mbps broadband adoption rate, included Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. All states in the top 10 had 15 Mbps broadband adoption rates of 42% or higher.

US average Internet connection speed

Source: Akamai

Not surprisingly all of the states in the top 10 were in the eastern part of the U.S. Those areas tend to be more densely populated, minimizing broadband deployment costs and making it easier for service providers to find a business case for deploying higher-speed service. In the years Telecompetitor has been reporting Akamai ‘s quarterly findings, eastern states have always tended to have the highest speeds.

Now that the FCC has raised the broadband speed definition to 25 Mbps, Akamai also has begun to track the 10 states with the highest percentage of average connections at 25 Mbps or higher. The District of Columbia came in first place in the current study period, with 29% of broadband users connecting at speeds of 25 Mbps or higher. Other states in the top 10 included Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and New York. Surprisingly two states in the top 10 – Utah and Washington – were in the western U.S.

All states in the top 10 had 17% or more broadband users connecting at average speeds of 25 Mbps or higher.