The average U.S. broadband connection speed set a new record in the fourth quarter of 2013, reaching a milestone rate of 10 Mbps, according to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report released today. That was an increase of 2% over the previous quarter, when the average connection rate was 9.8 Mbps, and a 25% increase over the same period a year earlier.
More than a third (34%) of U.S. Internet users connected at speeds above 10 Mbps during fourth quarter, Akamai said – up 2.1% over the previous quarter and up 56% over fourth quarter of 2012.
Internet users in Virginia had the highest connection speeds in the study period, averaging 14.4 Mbps – an increase of 53% over the same period in 2012.
Eight of the other nine states in the top 10 for average connection speed were also in the eastern U.S. These included the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York. The only non-Eastern state in the top 10 was Washington. All states in the top 10 had average connection speeds of at least 11.5 Mbps.
More than half of Internet users in four states connect at average rates above 10 Mbps, Akamai said. In Massachusetts, the number was 57%. Massachusetts was followed by New Jersey, Maryland and Rhode Island, where 56%, 52%, and 52% of Internet users, respectively, had average connection rates higher than 10 Mbps.
On the mobile side, one unnamed U.S. network operator had average data connection speeds of 8.5 Mbps, making it the fastest of four operators studied. The other three U.S. mobile network operators that Akamai studied had average connection speeds of 5.9 Mbps, 4.3 Mbps and 2.2 Mbps.
Akamai included laptops and other connected devices as well as smartphones and tablets in its wireless network measurements.