updated 10:25 pm EDT, Fri March 23, 2012
Rhode Island, Comcast fastest state and ISP
Pando Networks has announced its findings on US broadband speed averages, finding Austin the top city for fast internet downloading, with Rhode Island the fastest state and Comcast the fastest average ISP. The software consulting and analytics firm tested 10 million downloads (mostly games) of software using Pando's cloud-based distribution network. The Texas town has emerged as a tech hotspot with the recent additions of Samsung and Apple.
Unsurprisingly, other technology-friendly cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and New York made up the rest of the top five. The average download in Austin was rated at 841Kbps, just edging out San Francisco's 828 and Boston's 827, reports TechCrunch.
More interesting was that another Texas city -- El Paso -- ranked the slowest average of the top 35 cities (all with populations over 500,000) tested, with 483Kbps speed -- a little over half Austin's average. Forth Worth, Texas was also poorly rated at 517Kbps (the next-to-last result), Oklahoma City (518) and Albequerque, New Mexico (537).
As one might expect, larger metropolises tended to do better than rural cities, though Louisville Kentucky (at 701Kbps) managed to make it into the top 10, beating Chicago (692). When looking at national ISPs, the study voted Comcast the fastest at an average of 941Kbps, followed by Optimum Online at 874Kbps.
The survey also looked at states, which included data from towns smaller than 500,000. Rhode Island was given the nod as the fastest average state at 963Kbps, with Delaware in second with 923Kbps and New Jersey third overall with 897Kbps. A surprise was South Dakota, which averaged 712Kbps, topping much more populous states including Florida and Illinois.
Austin's top ranking will only help it become more of a tech center. Samsung's sole American chip-fabrication facility is there, working on the current A-series chips for Apple, and Apple itself just cleared a major hurdle for a $304 million research and design campus nearby, which is expected to work on future chip designs as well as handle some administrative functions for Apple's Americas operations.