Want Fast Broadband? Move to Utah

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Though New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago are often thought of as fast-moving cities, none of them are among the top ten fastest cities in America when it comes to broadband.

Instead, if you want to live in the city with the fastest average broadband connection speed, you'll have to move to the state of Utah.

The latest quarterly State of the Internet Report from content delivery giant Akamai puts Sandy, Utah, at the top of the list for U.S. cities with the fastest average broadband speeds, with an average connection speed of 33,464 Kbps (33.5 Mbps).

Coming in second place in Akamai's third-quarter 2009 report: Iowa City, Iowa, at 27.4 Mbps; followed by Norman, Oklahoma, in third with 26.8 Mbps. Utah also claimed two more spots in the top-ten list, at No. 4 with the city of Logan and its 23.6 Mbps speed; and with Spanish Fork, Utah, in seventh place at approximately 18 Mbps.

Breaking down U.S. cities by their average broadband speeds is a first for Akamai, which has been producing its quarterly State of the Internet since the beginning of 2008. Akamai's data comes from its global network of content delivery servers.

Ever since its first report, Akamai has been detailing only which U.S. states had the highest average broadband connection speeds. For the past year, the top U.S. state has remained the tiny state of Delaware. For the third quarter of 2009, the average connection speed in Delaware was 7.2 Mbps, which was actually a 1.3 percent decline over the third quarter of 2008.

Overall in the U.S., the average broadband connection speed in the third quarter of 2009 came in at 3.9 Mbps, down by 2.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The reported noted that the average mobile connection speeds were between 700 Kbps to 800 Kbps in the United States, which could have brought down the average when aggregated with higher-speed wired connections.

"The overall year-over-year decline in the U.S. average connection speed was relatively minor," David Belson, director of market intelligence at Akamai Technologies, told InternetNews.com. "The larger year-over-year sample base may have contributed to the decline, especially as mobile usage grows."

On a global basis during the third quarter of 2009, Akamai saw 444 million unique IP addresses from 226 countries, which represented a 17 percent increase in addresses compared to a year earlier. The increase comes during a year in which most the world was gripped in an economic recession.

"Overall, we think that the growth in Internet usage (as represented by an increasing number of Unique IPs connecting to Akamai) is trending in the right direction, as we would have expected," Belson said. "It is not clear overall what impact the global recession has had -- while there were some published reports of broadband consumers switching to lower-speed subscriptions, that action, as well as other factors may have contributed to the fluctuations in average connection speeds and overall broadband penetration."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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