A recent study by BroadbandNow Research has assessed the best and worst states in the U.S. for broadband internet access in 2023. The study evaluated each state and the District of Columbia based on various factors such as access to wired or fixed wireless broadband, access to low-priced broadband, median download speed, and median upload speed.
- Availability of low-priced broadband has increased across the U.S. There is now only 1 state with less than 20% of the population having access to a broadband plan for $60 per month or less (down from 25 states last year). Having said that, in only one state, Wyoming, more than half of residents have access to such a plan.
- Latency (round trip time) is a measure of responsiveness–the time between when you click something and when you get a response–and it’s critical for a smooth internet experience, especially for real-time interactions such as gaming or video calls. There is a huge geographic disparity between states that do well in this metric, like New York or Washington with median round trip times less than 7.5 milliseconds, and states that do poorly, like Hawai’i and Massachusetts with median round trip times greater than 61 milliseconds.
- Delaware is the best state for broadband internet, with 46.2% of its population having access to low-priced broadband and a median download speed of 96.1 Mbps. On the other hand, Alaska ranked at the bottom of the list, with only 20% of its population having access to affordable broadband and a median download speed of 58.5 Mbps.
- We support changing the definition of broadband speeds from 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up to 100Mbps down and 25Mbps up, but we’re a long way away from widespread access to those speeds. Nationally, only 39% of Americans are getting 100Mbps down, and only 25% are getting 25Mbps up.
According to the study, there is only one state, Nevada, with less than 20% of its population having access to a broadband plan for $60 per month or less. This is a significant drop from the 25 states that had such limited access last year.
In the Tri-State area, Illinois secured the 14th spot with 95.7% of its residents having access to wired or fixed wireless broadband. Additionally, 31.4% of the population had access to low-priced broadband. Illinois also boasted a median download speed of 85.3 Mbps, surpassing the national median.
Indiana ranked 23rd overall, with an impressive download speed of 85.7 Mbps. 31.4% of its population also had access to low-priced broadband. However, the state fell short in terms of overall broadband access, with only 92.8% of residents having access to wired or fixed wireless broadband.
Kentucky landed at the 36th spot, with a mere 25% of its population having access to affordable broadband. In an effort to improve access, Governor Andy Beshear, Senator Mitch McConnell, and other lawmakers secured over $1 billion in funding for broadband access in June, marking the largest public investment in high-speed internet in the state’s history.