Internet users in the U.S. surfed the Web at an average of 8.6 Mbps in the first quarter of this year, making a 27% increase in speed from last year. Despite the year-over-year boost, the average U.S. speed is slower than in eight other countries, including South Korea (14.2 Mbps), Latvia (9.8 Mbps) and Sweden (8.9 Mbps).
But the 8.6 Mbps is only an average: Many people in the U.S. connect to the Internet at far slower speeds. In fact, only 70% of the U.S. connections were at least 4 Mbps, according to Akamai. That proportion compares unfavorably to a host of other countries, including Switzerland (88%), Hong Kong (78%) and Canada (77%).
Within the United States, Vermont residents had the fastest average connections (12.7 Mbps), followed by New Hampshire (12 Mbps) and Delaware (11.9 Mbps).
But even those speeds pale in comparison to those in cities that have built their own fiber-to-the-home networks, Bristol, Va. and Lafayette, Louisiana -- both of which operate 1 GB networks, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Google also famously got into the broadband business by building a 1GB network in Kansas City. Residents can sign up for Internet only service for $70 a month, or broadband and TV for $120 a month.
Incumbent Internet service providers have been slower than either municipalities or Google to build out ultra-fast networks, but there are a few exceptions. CenturyTel recently said it would roll out 1 GB service in Omaha, Neb. Verizon also just said it will start offering 500 Mbps FiOS connections -- though the $300 a month price tag will probably be prohibitive for many home broadband users.
Pretty sure you mean "[Home] Internet users in the U.S.", because a lot of people will also use the Internet at work etc. and few businesses would provide Internet access with "far lower speeds".