If you're searching for what U.S. states have the highest broadband speeds, look no further than the District of Columbia, Delaware and Virginia--three states that Akamai says in its Q4 State of the Internet report have the country's best average and peak speeds.
Akamai said that the top 10 states in the fourth quarter showed a "a great deal of volatility—half of the states saw quarterly gains in average connection speeds while the other half saw losses."
Delaware maintained its No. 1 position with average peak speeds of 75.4 Mbps. However, the state's overall average connection declined 5.6 percent and peak speeds declined 0.5 percent during the quarter.
Virginia saw the largest gain of 22 percent, enabling it to jump into first place from sixth in the third quarter of 2014, while New York, Oregon, North Dakota and Rhode Island saw more modest quarterly gains--ranging from 2.6 percent to 4.7 percent. Washington saw the largest decline of 18 percent, dropping it from the No. 2 spot in the third quarter to the No. 7 spot.
A number of other states, including Hawaii and New Hampshire, saw year-over-year declines.
"In the fourth quarter of 2014, five states saw declines as compared with the fourth quarter of 2013," wrote Akamai. "These losses ranged from 1.4% in Hawaii (to 42.7 Mbps) to 6.3% in New Hampshire (to 53.1 Mbps)."
Regardless of the changes during the quarter, Akamai said that it expects speeds to increase.
Part of the increase will be driven by factors traditional service provider efforts like C Spire and TDS launching 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services in more markets and a host of municipalities in various states building out networks. C Spire began building out a 1 Gbps-capable FTTH network in Jackson, Miss., while TDS Telecom rolled out service to a number of Tier 2 New Hampshire towns.
"Many of the efforts to increase connection speeds are being taken at a local/municipal level and may not have an immediate state-wide impact upon completion, but are part of ongoing initiatives that are becoming more widespread across the country," Akamai wrote in the report.
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