United States falls to 31st place in global broadband speed list

By on November 27, 2013, 6:30 PM
broadband, united states, speed test, speedtest.net, internet connection speed

If you live in the United States and think you have access to a fast broadband connection, think again. That’s because 30 countries have faster Internet connections on average than the US according to the latest statistics from Speedtest.net.

The site, which ranks and compares connection speeds from across the globe, is a popular way for consumers to test their connection speed to the web. The service is powered by Ookla, a company that makes applications to test broadband speeds as well as networking diagnostic software for the web.

The latest statistics show that many countries that aren’t known for being technological powerhouses outpaced American connections, including Liechtenstein, Moldova and Uruguay.

Hong Kong topped all others with an average connection speed of 71.03 Mbps followed by Singapore at 52.85 Mbps. Romania, South Korea and Sweden rounded out the top five at 50.82 Mbps, 47.36 Mbps and 42.64 Mbps, respectively. In 31st place was the US with an average connection speed of just 20.77 Mbps.

Why is it then that the country that developed the Internet lags so far behind in overall speed? There are several reasons really, one of them being size. The country is rather big in terms of area of population which makes building efficient broadband networks challenging. What’s more, as CNN pointed out earlier this year, a lack of competition among service providers is also partially to blame.

Fiber connections, which offer a much faster link to the Internet than standard broadband cable lines, are slowly rolling out in the US but it’ll be quite some time before most neighborhoods are connected.




User Comments: 57

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r8bwp said:

Guess I must have a good speed then

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3130038726

73mb for those that dont want to look lol. thanks plusnet

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

73mb for those that dont want to look lol. thanks plusnet
I'm glad you think it is funny, that not everyone has the same option.

Guest said:

Wow, congrats to the top five.

my ISP (globe telecom, philippines) was rumored to to provide 10mbps minimum speed at no additional cost to the consumers. well, it did not happen but at least the minimum speed was upgraded to 1mbps.

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

73mb for those that dont want to look lol. thanks plusnet
I'm glad you think it is funny, that not everyone has the same option.

Because download speed is a serious and pressing issue in world affairs...

Guest said:

I have Comcast. It seems a little faster than usual.

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3130105002

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Because download speed is a serious and pressing issue in world affairs...
Not even relevant to my comment. I was commenting about how someone with an option, could laugh at those who don't have the option. As if those who don't have the option but yet don't want to look "lol", could magically get what they wanted somehow. I don't see how you could bring "world affairs" to the table. But since you mention it! World affairs has nothing to do with upgrading or innovation, when the industry is comfortable with the majority already paying them.

Edit:

Just look at all the bright lights across the USA, they have very little reason to upgrade. When they know people will only pay so much for a connection. And those paying (that would pay) for a connection are likely already paying for a connection. Upgrading the system would simply be a free upgrade. The industry doesn't like giving free upgrades.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Im fairly happy with 10 mbps. (about 1 MB/s) its fast enough to do pretty much everything I need.

Its the UPLOAD speed that I want to be faster.

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

@cliffordcooley I misunderstood you're original reply; took it to mean something else entirely.

1 person liked this | Raoul Duke Raoul Duke said:

I don't think the USA will lead in anything again that is not defence/national security related.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

The top 30 listed have a total land area of 4,192,356km squared, the united states has 9,826,675km squared with a very spread out population. The fast us and Russia and Canada are as high up as we are on the list (though the other two have much smaller and less spread out populations) its pretty amazing. I am happy with speed I get which is only have the USA's score. I have absolutely no need for anything faster and prob never will.

EClyde EClyde said:

73mb for those that dont want to look lol. thanks plusnet
I'm glad you think it is funny, that not everyone has the same option.

You come across as a malcontent

1 person liked this | EClyde EClyde said:

I don't think the USA will lead in anything again that is not defence/national security related.

Welfare

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You come across as a malcontent

Possibly true!

malcontent

one who is in active opposition to an established order or government

Because I don't see an established order and our fine government is only making things worse.

Guest said:

Good ol Canada, some of the highest prices around for some of the slowest speeds. (n)

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

Speed isn't the biggest issue - *access* is. When over 20% of the US population has no broadband options other than incredibly limited satellite or 3G then something is very wrong. Every tin shack in the developing world seems to have cheap, unlimited internet now.

Guest said:

Stupid list, because Hong Kong and Singapore are basically a city, which puts Romania in #1, which is quite surprising if you ask me.

Guest said:

Raoul Duke wrote: "welfare"

You mean DEBT....

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Welcome to the third world, US!

Guest said:

"The top 30 listed have a total land area of 4,192,356km squared, the united states has 9,826,675km squared with a very spread out population"

That size of the country is just a lame excuse, since most of the USA is desserts and forests. Even in a highly populated country like the Netherlands, you're shit out of luck if you live like 3 km away from any town. When you research for example glass fiber, you'll discover that many countries are way ahead of the USA of introducing fiber in CITIES.

Guest said:

"I don't think the USA will lead in anything again that is not defence/national security related."

I had a dream the other night where the U.S. became a nation based on and controlled by security. Selling security to nations that actually have their own moneys and such.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I had a dream the other night where the U.S. became a nation based on and controlled by security. Selling security to nations that actually have their own moneys and such.
What kind of a day did you have, that would lead to dreaming (or nightmare) about national security?

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

I had a dream the other night where the U.S. became a nation based on and controlled by security. Selling security to nations that actually have their own moneys and such.
What kind of a day did you have, that would lead to dreaming (or nightmare) about national security?

He probably made the mistake of cracking open a political magazine and following it up with a small dose of evening news. A potent cocktail, if ever there were one.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

political magazine
I wonder if the writer are always stoned. I couldn't imagine writing on that topic and not be.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

I wonder if the writer are always stoned. I couldn't imagine writing on that topic and not be.

It's the only way to channel that kind of creativity, really. There's a saying in the industry; something to the effect of "where there's weed, there's a story to read."

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

^^^LOL

Now back to the topic of being in 31st place.

bob333 bob333 said:

Hmm...

[link]

I am enjoying here!

Guest said:

I was surprised to see Romania in the list. That country is really poor and they have faster internet than us. Really sad.

Guest said:

I would bet that the prices US internet users pay are at least twice the price of other countries with faster service. Crony capitalism discourages competition and that leads to slower speeds and higher prices. Profits are more important than service. It's a joke. It's similar to the healthcare cartel. Americans pay twice as much for healthcare and receive lesser services compared to the rest of the industrialized world. GOP corporate minions and spineless Democrats worship these corporate giants and are afraid to demand that competition increase to lower prices and increase service.

63Jax said:

I was surprised to see Romania in the list. That country is really poor and they have faster internet than us. Really sad.

don't always believe what you see on tv

BlueDrake said:

Good ol Canada, some of the highest prices around for some of the slowest speeds. (n)

Agreed. I'd love to see what CNN thinks of Canada's rates, given we have literally no competition at all. What are they on, when they refer to ISPs having no competition? They must be looking at Canada, but thinking of us as part of the US.

It's literally split between providers on Cable or DSL, so neither step on each others toes. We have such 'wonderful' rates on internet.. yet our 'Southern' partner is making a fuss over prices for bandwidth?

Obzoleet Obzoleet said:

WOOP WOOOP Gooo Sweden

tomkaten tomkaten said:

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3130608863

I got this on my old 100 Mbps connection. The provider has recently introduced 500 Mbit and 1 Gbps subscription plans, for like 5 and 10 euros extra compared to what I pay right now (which is not much). I would get 1 Gbps, but I really don't need that kind of speed and I'm too lazy to upgrade my router right now

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

I was surprised to see Romania in the list. That country is really poor and they have faster internet than us. Really sad.

Macedonia also had the first 4G network too I believe. Complete coverage plus free wifi outlets in towns and cities all over the country. Makes plenty of other countries look pretty ordinary!

bexwhitt said:

The average speed thing if all they are doing is adding everybody's speeds up the dividing by the number of tests does not tell a real story.

if you have four tests one at 60 mbps and the other three at around 2 mbps the average would still be 21 mbps which is not bad but masks 3 of those tests are for really crappy speeds.

I regularly see speeds around here of below 5 mbps sometimes as low as 1mbps

Khanonate said:

Guess I must have a good speed then

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3130038726

73mb for those that dont want to look lol. thanks plusnet

We do have decent internet in the USA.

www.speedtest.net/my-result/3131105229

pmcardle said:

A somewhat meaningless stat! Most people use the internet for simple web browsing or for email which doesn't require a high speed connection (my parents come to mind). Plus most cable providers offer different speed packages and most people select the lower speed at a lower price (single household user, light web browsing/email only requirement). What would really matter is the % of the population that has internet access (total traffic). I would think that the US would rank higher there. Where's that stat?

BTW: I have Bright House Lightning 90. I get 105MB down and 10+ up. Verizon Fios in my area offer 300MB for home use as well.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

I honestly see the USA moving away from wired internet to home and going all cellular/WiMAX. We have vast areas to cover and everyone has pretty much gone mobile in the country using smartphones and tablets as much as there at home computers if not even totally replacing them already. Realistically 10Mb/s is more then enough for 80% of world wide households, and there are usually options for faster. 4g averages that speed for most people and I can tend to get into the 20Mb/s at night time where I live. As the infrastructure expands I would expect to see Verizon and AT&T starting to more aggressively push 4g service for at home internet dropping the prices to compete with each other and then having sprint and T-Mobile to help keep a lot of areas competitive.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The average speed thing if all they are doing is adding everybody's speeds up the dividing by the number of tests does not tell a real story.
I was also thinking that.

Guest said:

I was surprised to see Romania in the list. That country is really poor and they have faster internet than us. Really sad.

Macedonia also had the first 4G network too I believe. Complete coverage plus free wifi outlets in towns and cities all over the country. Makes plenty of other countries look pretty ordinary!

Macedonia had the first complete coverage of 3G network, 4G is stil on the way. Some countries like Macedonia and Romania, try to develop their IT industry as a part of a national strategy to get out of poverty, and a good internet coverage is one of the cheapest and efective ways to achieve that.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

In the US all traffic must be stored in NSA servers, that's why it's so slow

1 person liked this | r8bwp said:

I was just saying I like my speed thank you plus net... not a bad speed for the uk

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

The reason that the US is 30th in rankings is because of the oligopolies that are allowed (monopolies in certain areas) when it comes to the internet. The companies don't spend money to upgrade speeds because they know that they can charge a person so much for the current speeds, and will only upgrade when competition begins to. I really want to see Google mass expand their fiber network, forcing other companies to follow suit for similar prices. Not so much bring it to every city in every state, but at least 1 city in each state. This competition on the block would drive the speeds up real fast, and it wouldn't be a large hit on Google's $$$ to expand because they'd make majority of the costs back relatively shortly.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I'm just happy when my phone (land line), and internet are working at the same time.....

Right now, I have no dial tone, but can still download all the erotic art I choose. I'm afraid to turn the modem off, since it may be the only thing convincing the burglar alarm system the the phone is working. (When the phone goes out, or the wires are cut, the alarm goes off).

That said, I have 1Mb DSL, locked in for life @ $17,95 a month. I wonder where that fits in the world order of rankings..... ?:p

Oh, and I had to restore my 9 year old eMachine last night. I died from acute erotic art overdose. (Well OK, if you must know, it had been sick for a while). The restore discs installed a half dozen different programs by AOL. Ah, those were the days, my friends. Wind in your hair, 56Kbs at full bore, and an AOL trial CD in your junk mail almost once a month.

Guest said:

What you call a decent internet in USA, we call it sci-fi in Croatia.

havok585 havok585 said:

Damn it's friday night and I only got this much

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3133947995

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'll give you guys a laugh.

And to think that points to 18% being even slower

Guest said:

I was surprised to see Romania in the list. That country is really poor and they have faster internet than us. Really sad.

don't always believe what you see on tv

I learned about Romania on the Internet. For example, search on Google for an article titled "Romania, the country with the highest poverty levels in the EU".

learninmypc learninmypc said:

Everybody posting their results I'm sure you realize time of plays a part in it too. Or so I'm told.

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