Last updated: September 14, 2011 - 8:45am
Idaho had the slowest Internet speeds in the country earlier this year for residential customers who were downloading things like games — a “dismal” average of 318 kilobytes per second. Translation: In Idaho, it would take you 9.42 seconds to download a standard music file compared with 3.36 seconds in Rhode Island, the state with the fastest average speeds, at 894 kilobytes per second.
The slowest city, by the way, was also in Idaho: In Pocatello, it would take nearly 12 seconds to download that music file, according to the study by Pando Networks, a company that helps consumers accelerate downloads. In the nation’s fastest city, Andover, Mass., a Boston suburb, it would take just over one second.
Such speed distinctions might seem insignificant. But with larger files, downloading delays of just a few seconds can stretch into crucial minutes or hours and over time result in losses across many aspects of life, some experts say, beyond entertainment and games, affecting fields such as public safety, education and economic growth. It is not clear how many households throughout this state still have no Internet, but nationally, the figure is 28 percent — most of them in rural areas. The United States as a whole lags in speed, coming in 25th behind South Korea, which has the fastest speeds in the world. Even Romania clocks in ahead.
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