On the whole, it has emerged that the average internet speed in the U.S. has risen since the start of the pandemic. As reported by WhistleOut, there has been some significant change to internet speeds across the country. Most of which have been on the up but not all.
Many different factors affect the internet speeds one receives. Recently, studies into whether a WiFi router improves your internet speeds emerged, yielding some surprising results. At the start of 2020, we also found some of the best apps to test your internet speed on your phone.
WhisleOut covered over 700,000 internet speed tests and amalgamated them in order to come to their results. They took the average internet speeds in each state prior to the pandemic (mid-January to mid-March 2020). Then compared them with the speeds after the pandemic began (mid-March to early July 2020).
This study only focussed on home broadband internet connections. Therefore, meaning that cellular data speed tests do not form a part of this study.
U.S. internet speeds on the rise since the pandemic
On the whole, the study found that the average internet speed rose in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. At the start of the year, it was at 84.9 Mbps. It has now risen to an average of 94.6 Mbps.
This rise is in spite of a surge in bandwidth demand as more people engaged in video calls, gaming and streaming amongst other activities. One suggestion for this rise was that individual upgraded their internet plans. As they spent more time at home more people perhaps saw more value in investing in a better service.
Some internet providers have also improved their internet speeds since the start of the pandemic. Therefore, this would have also had an impact.
Some areas saw massive increases in internet speeds as we delve into the situation in individual states. Wyoming for example saw a 52% increase in internet speeds. This was likely due to a statewide push from the Wyoming Broadband Council to improve internet speeds in rural areas.
Alaska, Kentucky and Missouri also have significant increases with rises of 40%, 37% and 36% respectively. Similar initiatives also occurred in Alaska and Kentucky which largely accounts for their large increase in internet speeds.
However, not everywhere saw a rise in internet speeds. A few places actually, saw speeds drop slightly. These include West Virginia which saw a 13% decrease. This is likely tied to pre-existing connection issues in the state which became exacerbated by increasing demand.
Hawaii, Delaware and Connecticut also saw between 6-8% decreases in internet speeds. This is likely because of similar issues.
Overall this is an interesting look at how the pandemic has affected internet speeds across the nation. Hopefully, in the places where speeds have dropped, work is underway to recover and improve.