The U.S. may be the birthplace of the Internet, but when it comes to fast Internet access for consumers today, the U.S. continues to lag behind. According to a new report from Pando Networks (PDF), a filesharing service for consumer and businesses, U.S. consumers – on average – only get about a download speed of 4.93 Mbps when downloading data from Pando‘s network. That’s comparable to Great Britain (4.79 Mbps), but far behind the perennial leader South Korea (17.63 Mbps). Overall, U.S. broadband speeds rank 26th in the world.
Interestingly, South Korea is followed by a number of Eastern European countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia). Download speeds in these countries are up to four times as fast as in the U.S. South Korea, of course, has made its Internet infrastructure a priority over the last few years. At first glance, it’s strange to see these Eastern European countries so high on this list, though. It’s important to remember that these countries were mostly able to leapfrog some of the legacy infrastructure that is still burdening the U.S. ISPs who would have to make a major investment to upgrade their sprawling networks.
The U.S. of course, also has a large number of Internet users who live in rural areas where fast access simply isn’t available due to the location. This is surely bringing the average number down here as well.
The only good news here is that the U.S.’s rank isn’t declining. In 2010, Speedtest.net also ranked the U.S. as 26th in the world (though that company uses a very different methodology to create its ranking).
Fastest U.S. ISPs
The fastest U.S. ISPs – as measured by the download speeds Pando’s users are able to realize – are Verizon (8.45 Mbps), Comcast (7.22 Mbps) and Charter (6.63 Mbps).
Here is the full list, according to the New York Times:
1) South Korea
8 ) Ukraine
10) Hong Kong
16) Russian Federation
18) Aland Islands
24) Czech Republic
26) United States