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Which States Have the Best Internet Speed?

Date Published:  July 12th, 2022Date Updated:  June 22, 2023

We’ve talked a lot about how to choose the right internet plan for you and how fast 100 Mbps really is. But what if we zoom out and look at the average internet speeds across the country? Other than the top cities for fiber internet, what states have the fastest — and slowest — average internet speeds? 

But first, a reminder: even if the average for your state is lower than what you want at your own home, your address could have different options available. The most accurate way to find out what speeds you can get is to use our free internet speed test. 

What is the average internet speed in the U.S.?

Across the country, the average U.S. internet speed is 119.03 Mbps, according to HighSpeedInternet.com. “Fast” internet is typically considered anything more than 100 Mbps, putting the average slightly above fast. But broadband internet is anything faster than 25 Mbps, as defined by the FCC. 
fastest and slowest average internet speeds by state in the U.S.

So while the average is 119 Mbps, there are still plenty of people who don’t have access to 25 Mbps. Rural internet access continues to lag behind the access other more populous areas enjoy. In fact, 25% of Americans in rural areas — roughly 14.5 million people — don’t have broadband internet, according to the FCC. We’re hopeful that folks all over the country will be able to enjoy faster speeds as wireless home internet takes off. Now, let’s take a look at the best states for internet speed.  

Which states have the fastest internet?

If you’re looking for the fastest internet speeds in the U.S., you’re looking towards the East Coast. This is partly thanks to a number of large cities in a relatively small geographical area, especially when compared to states out west. 

Here are the states with the fastest average download speeds: 

Delaware 145.8 Mbps
New Jersey 144.7 Mbps
Maryland 144.3 Mbps
Virginia 139.6 Mbps
Massachusetts 138.1 Mbps
Rhode Island 134.5 Mbps

If the East Coast isn’t your style, there are a handful of warmer states with average speeds well over 100 Mbps.

Texas 133.7 Mbps
California 131.0 Mbps
Georgia 128.0 Mbps
Florida 127.79 Mbps

And it’s not a coincidence that Atlanta, Austin, and San Antonio are three of the best cities for fiber internet. If that’s where you’re heading, find your fiber internet plan now. 

Ready to get faster internet? Chat with our Internet Experts today and get internet at the speed of light! 

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Which states have the slowest internet?

The states that have slower speeds are those with lower population densities. Many internet providers haven’t built fiber networks in these areas because of the high costs when it can be miles between homes. 

Here are the states with the slowest average download speeds: 

West Virginia 60.7 Mbps
Montana 63.4 Mbps
Wyoming 69.9 Mbps
Maine 71.8 Mbps
Idaho 75.1 Mbps

These speeds are higher than the definition of broadband, but they’re not fast enough to enjoy streaming on multiple devices or support an entire smart home. 

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States with the best fiber internet  

If you’re looking to live in places with faster internet speed, look no further than fiber friendly areas.  

Fiber internet, which operates via fiber optic cables with glass strands, uses light signals to send data faster than cable internet. A fiber internet connection can make a huge difference in your download and upload speeds, allowing you to load large files, stream, and play video games without worrying about data limits.  

Maybe you’re not looking to move to fiber internet cities, but there are certainly states that are more fiber friendly than others. Wondering what states have fiber optic internet? See if the state you live in or hope to move to offers the best connection.  

California  

The third largest state in the U.S. is home to the largest population of people with access to fiber internet. Roughly 14.56 million people can tap into fiber in their area.  

Texas  

The Longhorn State has more than 217 fiber internet providers servicing nearly half of the state’s population at 46.6% coverability.  

Florida  

The Sunshine State might be a favorite for retirees, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want high-speed internet. Nearly 46% of Florida’s population has access to fiber internet.  

New York  

Up on the East Coast, New Yorkers have a significant leg up when it comes to fiber. About 66% of the state’s residents live in areas with fiber internet.    

Illinois  

The Prairie State, home to the shores of Lake Michigan and the city of Chicago, offers 3.8 million residents access to fiber internet.  

Pennsylvania  

The fifth-most populous state in the nation offers nearly half of its residents access to fiber internet at 6.2 million.   

Ohio  

The buckeye state hosts a population of nearly 11.8 million, 30.1% of whom live in areas with fiber optic internet.   

Georgia  

Down south in the Peach State, fiber is available to more than 53% of the population.   

North Carolina  

In the Tar Heel State, 105 fiber providers can service more than 4.35 million residents.   

Michigan  

Home of the Great Lakes, Michigan touts a population of a little more than 10 million people. Nearly 48% of residents have access to fiber.  

How can I get faster internet?

If you’re frustrated with slow internet, there are a few things you can do to improve your speed.

  • Try restarting your router. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but that’s because it works so often. Turning your equipment off, waiting about 20 seconds, and turning it back on gives it a chance to restart and clear out any unnecessary data.
  • Move your router. Did you know that certain materials can block your signal? Anything from concrete, brick, or even a stack of books can make it harder for WiFi signals to get through. And keeping it in the closet (or far away from where you need it) is something to avoid, too.
  • Boost your signal. You can use a WiFi extender or create a mesh network, depending on your needs. Both can be self-installed and help your internet reach all the nooks and crannies of your home.
  • Switch internet providers or upgrade your plan. If you’ve tried those solutions and you’re still looking for more speed, it might be time to upgrade your internet plan or switch providers entirely. EarthLink offers fiber internet speeds up to 5 Gigs, no credit checks, and no data caps.

Looking for more tips? Check out our guide for improving WiFi connectivity in your apartment or dorm room and figuring out why your internet is slow.

We can help make it easy to move your internet — and we can even send you a great checklist or two. Check out all of our home internet options or give our Internet Experts a call today at 866-618-0396. With coverage for more than 96% of the continental U.S., chances are we can help you out wherever you roam. 

Erin Ellison

Erin Ellison

Erin Ellison is the Director of Content Marketing for EarthLink. Her superpower is translating complicated tech jargon and concepts into language we can all understand. Erin has more than 15 years of writing experience for businesses, agencies, and the media. She currently lives and works in Atlanta.

See all posts from Erin Ellison.