The state of broadband in the U.S. [infographic]

For many people, their broadband connections are their lifelines. So what is the state of broadband in the U.S.? Well, when it comes to speed and price and adoption, we’re certainly not a leader — “middling” is a better way to describe our position.

Currently 119 million people that live in the U.S. don’t have broadband connections (for many reasons, including not wanting it or not being able to afford it) while 19 million don’t even have the option to get it. Our rate of broadband adoption (62 percent) lags behind countries such as South Korea, the U.K.,and Germany, according this year’s Federal Communication Commission report. (We’re closer to the penetration rates to Japan, Finland, and Canada.) These numbers are not likely to change soon, given that broadband growth is slowing and providers are moving away from wireline infrastructure.

Pricewise, we’re not in the top 10 in any speed tier, and in the in the highest tier — 15-25 Mbps — we’re 26th out of 32 countries. Hong Kong and Denmark both have cheaper internet — and faster average broadband speeds.

In this infographic, we highlight some key facts on broadband in the U.S. We obtained the data from the FCC, the National Broadband Map and Akamai.


196.7 million (62%)

Americans who have broadband


rank in wired broadband adoption per capita

Green denotes areas with at least two wireline broadband providers. Click to see how well your area is covered by both wireline and wireless broadband providers. Source: National Broadband Map.


6.6 Mbps

average U.S. broadband speed


U.S. broadband speed rank worldwide

Akamai State of the Internet Q2 2012

The average internet speed worldwide is 3.0 mbps. While the U.S. beats the average, it doesn’t stand out among other developed nations. Source: Akamai


speed in Kansas City, using Google Fiber

Google Fiber has by far the fastest speeds in America. Click to test your speed. Source: Google/Ookla



amount telcoms invest in U.S. broadband, per person annually


worldwide broadband investment, per person per year, by OECD countries


what Americans on average pay for a standalone broadband subscription every year (5-15 mbps)


rank out of 33 countries in  price for that speed tier 

This map shows which broadband technologies serve different parts of the U.S. Click to see what type of infrastructure your hometown has. Source: National Broadband Map