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Internet service speeds can change drastically by area, but the biggest concern is usually the type of area. The most noticeable differences will be comparisons between urban, rural areas, or coastlines. A majority of consumers assume top ISPs with nationwide marketing that claims to give the highest speeds at the best price are the correct choice, but that's not true everywhere. Customers often experience lower speeds than the advertised ones.
The way ISPs networks have been designed, causes a lot of regional differences. Only a few providers service a certain areas of the US, which can cause scarcity of local broadband speed choices. If the upload and download speeds advertised in one zip code are slower than a nearby zip code, then the customers have no choice but to wait for a newer, faster provider, or the existing ISPs to invest in upgrading the current infrastructure.
Internet service connectivity and technology continues to evolve, and might bring new ISPs to your area. These technology upgrades can affect Internet access speeds, as well as connection reliability. Something like DSL will have a better connection depending on how close you are to the ISPs' central office. Most Internet service plans are packaged by region for consistency, so multiple neighborhoods could be grouped together with specific speed packages.
Fiber is becoming more widely available, but is still usually restricted to urban areas. Most rural customers will have to settle for older phone line connections, satellite, or other wireless technologies.
Will Location be an Important Factor Forever?
Locations that have larger populations in smaller areas usually have great ISP choices because the market will be saturated with competitors. Fortunately, for rural area customers, new satellite internet technology is bringing increased capacity and speeds. This will be a great boon to areas that have little to no internet service, while still serving as an option to areas that might have other choices available.
Want to learn more? Compare satellite internet providers in your area.
Using the same infrastructure as cable television, cable internet access has quickly grown in popularity among ISPs and consumers alike. Generally offering faster speeds than a DSL line, it's often the first choice when looking to use the internet for things such as streaming, gaming, or just visiting some of your favorite sites.
With the fastest speeds available through fiber, it's the perfect choice for the modern user. Through fiber internet, fiber-optic lines carry the signal back and forth from your home or business at near instantaneous speeds. It's one of the newest technologies on the market and demand is growing faster and faster.
A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a method of connecting to the internet through an existing telephone line. Faster and more reliable than dial-up, DSL has been the choice for most Americans ever since it gained traction in the late 1990's. Seeing as all that's needed is a telephone line, most households and businesses will have some form of DSL to choose from.
Really meant for homes or businesses without grounded lines available, satellite internet access can be found almost anywhere. Using a geostationary satellite to connect you with the wider world online, all that is needed is a clear line of site to the southern sky and you'll have no problem connecting to the web.
Fixed wireless is a form of internet that uses directional radio antennas to connect to your home or business. Great for areas that don't have access to cable, DSL, or fiber, it allows you to have internet access without the often prohibitory price tag that getting those lines laid would cost.
|State||Providers||Max Speed||Avg Speed|
|Alabama||58||1 Gbps||388 Mbps|
|Arizona||61||1 Gbps||228 Mbps|
|Arkansas||57||1 Gbps||316 Mbps|
|California||139||1 Gbps||217 Mbps|
|Colorado||83||1 Gbps||246 Mbps|
|Connecticut||12||1 Gbps||258 Mbps|
|Delaware||10||1 Gbps||840 Mbps|
|Florida||60||1 Gbps||312 Mbps|
|Georgia||69||1 Gbps||378 Mbps|
|Idaho||56||1 Gbps||279 Mbps|
|Illinois||134||1 Gbps||419 Mbps|
|Indiana||86||1 Gbps||558 Mbps|
|Iowa||199||1 Gbps||429 Mbps|
|Kansas||81||1 Gbps||246 Mbps|
|Kentucky||70||1 Gbps||371 Mbps|
|Louisiana||43||1 Gbps||210 Mbps|
|Maine||23||1 Gbps||137 Mbps|
|Maryland||39||1 Gbps||618 Mbps|
|Massachusetts||32||1 Gbps||483 Mbps|
|Michigan||83||1 Gbps||207 Mbps|
|Minnesota||96||1 Gbps||431 Mbps|
|Mississippi||38||1 Gbps||429 Mbps|
|Missouri||105||1 Gbps||376 Mbps|
|Montana||43||1 Gbps||100 Mbps|
|Nebraska||74||1 Gbps||116 Mbps|
|Nevada||40||1 Gbps||93 Mbps|
|New Hampshire||13||1 Gbps||410 Mbps|
|New Jersey||21||1 Gbps||646 Mbps|
|New Mexico||47||1 Gbps||122 Mbps|
|New York||65||1 Gbps||304 Mbps|
|North Carolina||56||1 Gbps||554 Mbps|
|North Dakota||27||1 Gbps||708 Mbps|
|Ohio||101||1 Gbps||268 Mbps|
|Oklahoma||84||1 Gbps||176 Mbps|
|Oregon||69||1 Gbps||267 Mbps|
|Pennsylvania||65||1 Gbps||490 Mbps|
|Rhode Island||9||1 Gbps||467 Mbps|
|South Carolina||36||1 Gbps||255 Mbps|
|South Dakota||41||1 Gbps||323 Mbps|
|Tennessee||75||1 Gbps||483 Mbps|
|Texas||184||1 Gbps||301 Mbps|
|Utah||45||1 Gbps||175 Mbps|
|Vermont||19||1 Gbps||271 Mbps|
|Virginia||65||1 Gbps||443 Mbps|
|Washington||79||1 Gbps||380 Mbps|
|West Virginia||35||1 Gbps||333 Mbps|
|Wisconsin||89||1 Gbps||253 Mbps|
|Wyoming||36||1 Gbps||189 Mbps|