broadbandThe average U.S. broadband speed reached 11.4 Mbps in the second quarter of 2014, according to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report released today. That’s an increase of 8.9% over first quarter of 2014, which saw a 9% speed increase over the last quarter of 2013. The 11.4 Mbps average broadband speed represented a 39% increase over the same period in 2013.

The jump in average connection speed was not high enough to put the U.S. back in the top 10 countries measured by that metric, however. After finding itself in the top 10 for quarter after quarter, the U.S. fell off the top 10 list in the first quarter of 2014.

Average U.S. Broadband Speed
As usual, the 10 U.S. states with the highest average connection speeds were primarily in the East. Delaware again had the highest connection speed, averaging 16.2 Mbps. Six other eastern states – including Virginia, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire – were in the top 10. The only three non-eastern states in the top 10 were Washington, Utah and Oregon. All states in the top 10 had average broadband connection speeds of at least 12.8 Mbps.

Akamai once again attempted to gauge consumer readiness for ultra-HD video, also known as 4K. The company considered consumers to be 4K-ready if their average connection speed was more than 15 Mbps. Using this definition, Akamai found that nationwide 19% of consumers were 4K-ready.

Not surprisingly the state with the highest percentage of 4K-ready consumers was Delaware, where 35% of consumers connected at speeds higher than 15 Mbps. The top 10 most ready states all had at least 23% of consumers connecting at speeds above 15 Mbps. In addition to Delaware, these included Massachusetts, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, Rhode Island, Virginia and Oregon.

The CAF Speed Target
The FCC is considering whether to set the target broadband speed for the Connect America Fund at 4 Mbps or 10 Mbps – and as the Akamai data reveals, there is a considerable difference between those two targets in terms of current penetration rates.

While 72% of broadband users nationwide connect at speeds above 4 Mbps, 39% connect at speeds above 10 Mbps.

Considering how quickly connection speeds have been climbing, however, it probably won’t be long before we see some big changes in both of those numbers.

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