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New Study Examines Internet Speed Desparity in the US

Posted Thu, Jul 28, 2011 by Martuk

Pando Networks is a content delivery provider for games such as The Lord of the Rings Online and League of Legends. The provider recently performed an extensive study on the quality of web access across America, one that showed a huge disparity in connection speeds across the country.

The study tracked downloads by more than four million gamers, who downloaded game clients and updates from January through June 2011. The study revealed that some states enjoy a much stronger connection than others by almost tenfold. The fastest connected state in the study was Rhode Island with an average speed of 894KBps, three times faster than the slowest state Idaho with an average of 318KBps.

Further investigation revealed that the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region contained eight of the ten fastest states. The slower states tended to be rural Midwest and Mountain-west states, which contained nine of the ten slowest states.

The study also explores the speeds of a number of Internet provider, of which Comcast topped the list as the fastest with Road Runner trailing behind as the slowest.

Are you curious to know how your area measures up? Check out the interactive maps and official press release after the break for more.


Average Completion Rate by State (%)


Average Download Speed By State (Kilobytes Per Second)


Pando Networks Releases Nationwide Game Download Study
Client and patch analysis reveals disparity in US Internet speeds, download completions

NEW YORK, N.Y. - 7/27/11- A study of data collected by Pando Networks (www.pandonetworks.com), the content delivery provider for popular free-to-play and online games such as League of Legends, Lord of the Rings Online and Maple Story, today revealed striking disparities in the quality of web access across America.

By tracking downloads by 4 millions gamers’ game and patch downloads across the country from January through June 2011, Pando Networks’ study revealed that some states are averaging connectivity speeds as much as ten times faster than those in other cities. This data may play some part in the massive growth of browser-based social games and smaller free-to-play games in the USA.

The most striking findings were the core differences between the average speeds on a state-by-state basis. The data indicates that the fastest state was Rhode Island at an average of 894 KBps, which was almost three times faster than the slowest, Idaho, which had a dismal 318KBps. Rhode Island and Idaho may stand out as the extremities, but the disparities they highlight reflect more expansive, regional trends. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region contained eight of the ten fastest states. With California, Oregon, and Washington in the top 15, the West coast was also a remarkably a speedy region. On the other hand, the rural Midwest and Mountain-West states of which Idaho is a member comprise nine of the ten slowest states. Middle America’s slow connectivity could be representative of its more widespread populations and a lower demand for high-speed data infrastructure.

Generally, the slower downloading, rural states were also the least likely to complete a download once begun, with some notable exceptions. Users in Hawaii, dealing with a fairly sluggish average of 432KBps, still managed to complete 87% of their downloads. Colorado residents averaged a relatively slow 474KBps, but managed to complete 86% of their downloads. Bucking the trend in the opposite direction, the District of Columbia enjoys an average of 759KBps but only completes 80% of downloads. Such findings suggest high-speed internet users may not necessarily hold the most stable connections (or be the most patient internet users). Culver City, CA, the headquarters of Pando Networks client Riot Games, had the highest average completion rate at 98%.

More interesting findings are visible when the data is broken down to the city level. The fastest download averages tend to be concentrated in fairly affluent, metropolitan suburbs. Topping the list is Andover, a suburb of Boston with a median income of $114,000 and average download speeds of 2,801KBps. Other notable, high-average suburbs include Burke, VA (an average of 1,674 KBps) outside of DC and Santa Monica, CA outside of Los Angeles (1,428KBps, with an average completion rate of 96%). Keeping with the statewide trends, the slowest downloading towns tend to be in rural areas with low incomes. Taking the bottom spot is Pocatello, a small community in Idaho with a median income of $34,000. Other notably slow communities include Yuma, AZ (290KBps) in the Mojave desert and Mission, TX (270KBps) near the Mexican border.

Also notable are the wide margins between the various major ISPs. Excluding business and private networks, the data puts Comcast Cable at the top spot, averaging download speeds of 890KBps. Other notables near the top of the list included Verizon (788KBps) and Cox (757KBps). At 673KBps, Road Runner was the slowest of the major broadband providers. Such wide gaps also exist amongst the providers of wireless 3G and 4G data plans. Topping the list are AT&T with an average of 416KBps and Sprint with a respectable 391KBps. T-Mobile turned in an average of 364KBps, Verizon Wireless had an average of 216KBps and ALLTEL was the slowest with an average of 155KBps.

HTML code for interactive, embeddable intensity maps are available at http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=zhxL9Sjh. More specific city and ISP-related data can be requested from [email protected]

About Pando Networks Inc. Pando Networks (www.pandonetworks.com) improves the delivery performance of games, software and video. Pando accelerates content delivery, increases download completion rates and provides detailed performance data. Pando technology currently accelerates the delivery of more than 200 million downloads a year globally. Pando is funded by Intel Capital, BRM Capital and Wheatley Partners.

 

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