Studies show Internet speeds, use increase

Akamai Technologies released its Fourth Quarter 2015 State of the Internet Report, which found that the average broadband speed across the United States is 14.2 Mbps, up 13 percent since the fourth quarter of 2014. Data gathered from Akamai’s global “Intelligent Platform” showed that the US ranked 14th in the world in average broadband speed.

The United States ranked 16th globally for average broadband speed with 14.2 Mbps. This average speed puts the US behind first-ranked South Korea (26.7 Mbps), second-ranked Sweden (19.14 Mbps), and third-ranked Norway (18.8 Mbps), as well as much of Europe.

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s Internet Use in 2015 adds detail to the broad findings of the Akamai report. Its data from 2013 through 2015 found that that “some of the demographic groups that have historically lagged behind in using the Internet—such as senior citizens, minorities, and Americans with lower levels of educational attainment—are making big strides.”

For example, Internet use increased rapidly among African Americans, from 64 percent in 2013 to 68 percent in 2015. Internet use by Hispanics (from 61 percent to 66 percent) and Alaska Natives (from 61 percent to 70 percent) also significantly increased.

But gaps in Internet use remain. The digital divide based on educational attainment is shrinking, but remains large: 88 percent of college graduates used the Internet between 2013 and 2015 while only 58 percent of Americans with no high school diploma used the Internet within the same period.


Fourth Quarter State of the Internet Report (Akamai Technologies, Mar. 2016)


First Look: Internet Use in 2015 (NTIA, Mar. 21, 2016)