COVID-19 has forced many to work from home, but it hasn’t hurt internet speeds in the United States. In fact, most places have seen an increase, except for a few areas.
Despite concerns that COVID-19 would crash the internet, broadband in the United States has not only survived but actually thrived. According to a study conducted by WhistleOut, the average internet speeds across the country have increased over the course of the pandemic, jumping from 84.9 Mbps to 94.6 Mbps.
But where has it improved the most? WhistleOut determined that Wyoming (52 percent increase), Alaska (40 percent), Kentucky (37 percent), Kansas (36 percent), and Missouri (31 percent) saw the most significant increases in internet speeds. They believe that Wyoming, Alaska, and Kentucky were specifically boosted by government-sponsored initiatives to improve internet across those states.
Aside from municipal internet programs and customers upgrading their packages, our own studies may be able to back these numbers up. According to our Fastest ISPs of 2020 report, Alaska was helped by Anchorage’s GCI Communications increasing to a record-breaking 134 PSI this year. It may also be worth noting that small towns in each of these states were shown to have fast internet for remote workers.
However, that does not mean all states saw an increase in internet speeds. Some, like Maryland (0.7 percent increase) and New Hampshire (0.1 percent increase), have remained about the same throughout the pandemic. That doesn’t mean their internet is slow, though, as both states ranked among the fastest just last year.
States that have struggled the most during the pandemic include West Virginia (13 percent decrease), Hawaii (-8 percent), Delaware (-8 percent), Connecticut (-6 percent), Washington, DC (-2 percent), and Colorado (-0.5 percent). Of these states, West Virginia had already ranked as one of the slowest states, so a further decrease is likely very noticeable.
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