U.S. internet speeds rose nearly 40 percent this year

By Rani Molla

Fastest is getting faster.
Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Finally some good news: The internet is getting faster, especially fixed broadband internet. Broadband download speeds in the U.S. rose 35.8 percent and upload speeds are up 22 percent from last year, according to internet speed-test company Ookla in its latest U.S. broadband report.

The growth in speed is important as the internet undergirds more of our daily lives and the wider economy. As internet service providers continue building out fiber networks around the country, expect speeds to increase, though speeds vary widely by region depending on infrastructure and whether or not an area has fiber.

New Jersey had the highest mean download speed — 121 megabits per second — while Rhode Island had the fastest upload speed — 63 Mbps — in Q2 and Q3 of 2018. Maine had the slowest mean upload and download speeds (50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload) of any state. California, the home of Silicon Valley, ranked 17th in downloads and 24th in uploads.

Xfinity was the fastest broadband provider nationwide, followed by Verizon, according to Ookla.

On a city level, Kansas City — the home of Google Fiber — had the highest mean broadband speeds of any city in the country, both for downloads and uploads, at 159 and 127 Mbps respectively. Memphis had the slowest mean download speed — 45 Mbps — while Laredo, Texas, had the slowest upload speed at about 9 Mbps.

Search for your city’s fastest broadband provider as well as mean download and upload speeds here:

As of October, the U.S. ranked seventh in the world in broadband and 43rd in mobile download speeds — a slight increase in rank from last year. Broadband is twice as fast as mobile. Broadband speed growth is also outpacing mobile. The rollout of 5G mobile connections should help.

Ookla’s data was measured using its Speedtest during the second and third quarters of 2018. It measured speeds on more than 24 million unique devices and through 115 million consumer-initiated tests.