California, Chicago are top gigabit-connected areas, says Viavi study

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Maintaining and supporting gigabit broadband deployments will require service providers to provide their support and installation teams with a set of new processes and best practices.

If you want to know what areas have widely available gigabit broadband services, look no further than Chicago and the state of California, Viavi said in its study "State of U.S. Gigabit Deployments" (PDF).

The study tracked the regional and metropolitan breakdown of gigabit internet availability in the United States.

According to Viavi, California leads the Gigabit the U.S. market with more gigabit internet availability than any other state. In California, gigabit internet is available to over 8.5 million consumers.

Viavi 1 Gbps
Viavi said that while many of the most populous states make up the top ten states, there are some notable surprises. Colorado, with a population of just over 5.5 million, has gigabit internet available to an estimated 5.25 million of its inhabitants, making it the state with the most Gigabit availability per head.

RELATED: North America leads worldwide gigabit deployments, Viavi database reveals

From a metropolitan area basis, Chicago takes the top spot in terms of connectivity, with gigabit internet being available to over 6 million people. This means that Chicago has more gigabit internet availability than many industrialized nations including Japan, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The remaining top 10 states are Illinois (about 6.5 million), Colorado (5.2 million), Georgia (4.2 million), Florida (3.4 million), Utah (2.4 million), New York (2 million), Tennessee (2 million), Texas (1.2 million) and Michigan (976,000).

Maintaining and supporting gigabit broadband deployments will require service providers to provide their support and installation teams with a set of new processes and best practices.

"While the overall picture of the United States' Gigabit health is robust, such a jump in connectivity speed comes with significant delivery challenges," said Sameh Yamany, CTO of Viavi Solutions, in a release. "In particular, service and field technicians need to acquire more complex skills with additional training to be able to test and troubleshoot high-speed connectivity issues, and legacy test instruments can't even measure gigabit speed. Service providers need to take steps to ensure that their network testing and maintenance practices allow them to follow through on the gigabit promise."

Viavi claims that in terms of population coverage, the United States currently has gigabit internet available to more people than any other country—57.5 million consumers, or 18% of the population. Trailing the U.S. is South Korea, Turkey, and Canada.

However, in terms of percentage of population coverage, the leaders are Singapore, South Korea, Moldova and Portugal with 95%, 93%, 90% and 64% of their populations covered, respectively.