Roughly two-thirds of all Americans who have an Internet connection in their homes use broadband. We tend to think of that as "high speed." But is it?
The U.S. ranks 25th in the world in average Internet connection speeds, and nearly half of all U.S. residents' Internet connections fall below the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's minimum definition of broadband, at 4 megabits per second download, according to a new report.
The average download speed in the U.S. in 2010 is 3 mbps (megabits per second), a slight increase from 2009, according to a report released Wednesday by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and sister organization Speedmatters.org.
In contrast, South Korea's average download speed is 34.1 mbps, Sweden's is 22.2 mbps, Romania's is 20.3 mbps, and Japan's is 18 mbps, according to the report.
"Too many Americans are locked into slow Internet, foreclosing access to many online applications and services," the report said.
You can read the full report at http://www.speedmatters.org/content/internet-speed-report
How fast is YOUR Internet connection? You can easily find out as there are dozens of web sites that offer free testing capabilities. Go to http://goo.gl/35Sr5 to find a long list of such testing services.
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. I pay for a 10-megabit fiber optic connection but the three testing services I tried all reported my download speed is a bit more than 13 megabits per second. Upload speeds on most Internet service providers runs around 20% to 35% of the download speeds.
If you are not receiving what you are paying for, call your Internet service provider's customer service department and ask to open a trouble ticket. I hear various reports that "squeaky wheels do get fixed." If you don't report it, your speed will probably never equal what you are paying for.
Maybe I should move to South Korea.