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By Reuters

U.S. Internet connection speeds have tripled over the past 3 and a half years to keep up with consumer demands for streaming video and downloading content, but the United States still lags behind many other countries.

The Federal Communications Commission said in a report on Wednesday average download connection speeds had increased to nearly 31 megabits per second in September 2014 from about 10 Mbps in March 2011.

Rising Internet speeds have been driven by consumer demands for growing amounts of bandwidth to watch movies, play video games and download data.

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The industry is ramping up efforts to boost speeds. Google is offering up to 1,000 Mbps in nine cities, while AT&T is offering the same speed in 20 cities and plans to add 36 metro areas next year.

Comcast said last week it is testing its own 1,000 Mbps service in Philadelphia and by the end of 2016 will offer the service in some other areas. Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and NBC News.

The FCC says video accounts for more than 60 percent of U.S. Internet traffic, a figure that may rise to 80 percent by 2019.

Still, the United States only ranks 25 out of 39 nations in 2013, according to the FCC. It said the United States was behind many countries including France, Canada, Germany and Japan -- but ahead of Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Israel. The fastest was Luxembourg with average download speeds of 47.32 Mbps.

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