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Which US States Have The Best and Worst Internet?

By Brett Gordon, GetInternet.com:

What states deliver the best Internet experience? What states deliver the worst? Researchers recently took a sweeping look at broadband availability across the entire country. Here’s what they found:


A Big Picture Look at US Broadband


The average Internet speed across all 50 states is 35.36 Mbps. Speeds in every state fell within 17 Mbps (either higher or lower) of that average.


New Jersey has the nation’s best Internet. Broadband covers 99% of the Garden State with an average speed of 52 Mbps.


The top five states with the best Internet are the following:


  • #1 New Jersey – 52.0 Mbps Average Speed – 99% Coverage

  • #2 Connecticut 41.8 Mbps 99%

  • #3 Rhode Island 46.7 Mbps 98.2%

  • #4 New York 46.7 Mbps 97.6%

  • #5 Massachusetts 43.5 Mbps 97.6%



Montana’s Internet is the worst. The state’s average speed is a low 20.3 Mbps with a coverage area of only 69.2%.


The five states with the worst Internet are the following:


  • #46 Wyoming – 29.9 Mbps average speed – 75.2% Coverage

  • #47 Oklahoma 26.8 Mbps 74.5%

  • #48 Arkansas 25.0 Mbps 73.3%

  • #49 Mississippi 25.2% Mbps 70.2%

  • #50 Montana 20.3 Mbps 69.2%



Here’s a closer look at the remaining states:


  • #6 Delaware – 44.9 Mbps average speed – 97.5% Coverage

  • #7 Hawaii 22.5 Mbps 96%

  • #8 Maryland 51.3 Mbps 96.7%

  • #9 California 29.0 Mbps 94.5%

  • #10 Florida 41.2 Mbps 94.9%

  • #11 Utah 37.2 Mbps 94.9%

  • #12 Pennsylvania 41.4 Mbps 94.7%

  • #13 New Hampshire 37.4 Mbps 94.3%

  • #14 Washington 41.0 Mbps 94.2%

  • #15 North Carolina 42.4 Mbps 93.1%

  • #16 Ohio 32.1 Mbps 91.9%

  • #17 Illinois 40.4 Mbps 92.3%

  • #18 North Dakota 28.6 Mbps 92.2%

  • #19 Nevada 34.3 Mbps 91.8%

  • #20 Georgia 39.1 Mbps 90.6%

  • #21 Maine 21.2 Mbps 89.7%

  • #22 Virginia 48.7 Mbps 89.9%

  • #23 Colorado 40.9 Mbps 90.4%

  • #24 Tennessee 36.6 Mbps 89.9%

  • #25 Oregon 39.1 Mbps 89.7%

  • #26 Michigan 28.7 Mbps 88.3%

  • #27 Minnesota 36.8 Mbps 88.1%

  • #28 South Carolina 39.3 Mbps 88.2%

  • #29 Arizona 33.9 Mbps 86.7%

  • #30 Texas 46.9 Mbps 86.9%

  • #31 Vermont 22.4 Mbps 86.1%

  • #32 Wisconsin 37.5 Mbps 85.3%

  • #33 South Dakota 26.8 Mbps 85.3%

  • #34 Indiana 36.7 Mbps 85.7%

  • #35 Kentucky 30.5 Mbps 85.3%

  • #36 Louisiana 35.1 Mbps 84.6%

  • #37 Idaho 25.6 Mbps 82%

  • #38 Iowa 24.7 Mbps 83.7%

  • #39 Nebraska 27.1 Mbps 82.4%

  • #40 Kansas 39.9 Mbps 81.9%

  • #41 Alabama 33.7 Mbps 81.2%

  • #42 Missouri 38.5 Mbps 80.1%

  • #43 New Mexico 30.0 Mbps 80.3%

  • #44 Alaska 27.9 Mbps 78.2%

  • #45 West Virginia 29.9 Mbps 75.2%


General Trends in Internet Speed by State


State rankings make for fun bragging rights if you happen to live somewhere with great Internet. The info can also be useful if you’re looking to move either within your state or to a new one.


However, the major purpose of state rankings is to identify national trends. After studying the numbers, one major trend is clear:


Large, rural states have less Internet coverage and slower speeds than small, highly-populated states.


Montana’s population density is seven people per square mile, while New Jersey has a whopping 1,195 people per square mile.


The Garden State has the highest population density in the US. Plus, it’s relatively small. Covering the entire state with broadband isn’t complicated because it’s basically one large urban area.


However, Montana isn’t the least populated state. It’s ranked 45 out of the 56 states and territories. Why is this important? It shows us that population density plays an important role in broadband access within a state, but it’s not the only factor.


State wealth also plays a role. California is the fourth wealthiest state with the ninth fastest Internet. Washington is the wealthiest with an Internet-speed ranking of 14.


Wealthy states tend to have average-to-high levels of coverage. However, folks living in poor cities are ten times less likely to have broadband Internet at home.


Developing broadband in large, wealthy areas with a high population density will always be the safest investment for Internet providers. That’s true for both large companies like Cox and Xfinity as well as smaller providers such as Google Fiber.

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