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World’s Broadband Gets Broader, but U.S. Still Lags Many Countries

Broadband Internet is creeping into all corners of the world, but there's a lot left to be done, according to the latest report from networking services company Akamai. The second quarter of 2014 marks the first time the global average broadband speed jumped over the 4-megabit mark, an arbitrary but still significant milestone. Meanwhile, the outliers remain the same: South Korea occupies the top spot in both average bandwidth (24.6 megabits) and proportion of the population on a broadband connection (95 percent, tied with Bulgaria). Meanwhile, smaller islands like the Philippines and countries with lots of rural areas, like India, are still struggling to deliver useful speeds.

The U.S. falls behind East Asia, ranking somewhere in the middle, with the Nordic countries, in terms of broadband speed and penetration. Inside the U.S., Delaware appears to be the place to be — the Mid-Atlantic state ranked first in every category: average speed, peak speed, connectivity and even "4K readiness," referring to the 15 megabit speed that can handle ultra high-def broadcasts. And the slowest? That dubious honor, once Alaska's, now belongs to Arkansas.

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—Devin Coldewey