akamaiThe average broadband connection speed in the U.S. was 11.7 Mbps for the second quarter of 2015, according to the latest Akamai State of the Internet Report. That’s a slight increase of 1% since first quarter and an increase of 2.2% over the same period of 2014.

While average connection speed measures the average amount of data flowing over a broadband connection, the average peak connection speed is a closer approximation of the capacity of a user’s connection. The average peak connection speed in the U.S. was 50.4 Mbps for the second quarter of 2015, according to Akamai  – a decrease of 3.7% from first quarter but an increase of 11% year-over-year.

U.S. Average Broadband Speed by State
Average peak broadband speed was only one of a range of metrics that saw a decrease for second quarter. Five of the top 10 states, measured by average connection speed, saw a decrease in connection speed. And seven of the top 10 states, measured by peak speed, saw a decrease in that speed. The top 10 states in both categories saw an increase over the same period of 2014, however.

Although Delaware traditionally has held the top average connection speed position, it was usurped by the District of Columbia in the second quarter. While the average connection speed in D.C. was 19 Mbps, the corresponding number for Delaware was just 16.7 Mbps. All states in the top 10 had average connection speeds of 14 Mbps or higher.

At 72.7 Mbps, Washington D.C. also topped the list of states when measured by average peak rate. All states in the top 10 had average peak connection speeds of 62.1 Mbps or higher.

As usual the states with the highest average and peak connection speeds were primarily in the eastern part of the country. Utah and Washington were the only non-eastern states on the top 10 list, measured by average connection speed. And Washington and California were the only non-eastern states on the top 10 list measured by peak connection speed.

Average peak connection speeds could increase substantially in the U.S. moving forward as a result of various gigabit service launches, Akamai notes in its report.

Tracking the 25 Mbps Target
A notable recent change to the Akamai report is the inclusion of data on the percentage of connections in individual states that exceed 25 Mbps. The data was added to track progress on meeting the 25 Mbps downstream speed target set recently by the Federal Communications Commission.

Here too the list was topped by the District of Columbia, where 20% of connections are at speeds above 25 Mbps. All of the other top 10 states were in the east except Utah, Washington and California. At least 8.4% of connections in all of the top 10 states were at 25 Mbps or higher.