Washington, Massachusetts and Delaware top the list of states that have made broadband a priority, according to a new study by the trade group TechNet.
These states lead the TechNet State Broadband Index, a study which ranks states on broadband adoption, network quality and segments of the state's economy supporting broadband.
Here's a list of the top 10 states:
- New Jersey
- New York
Rey Ramsey, the head of TechNet, a trade group made up of CEOs from major U.S.-based technology companies, has called broadband the "foundation" of U.S. economic and technological success.
"Broadband is shown to help create economic growth, job creation and many other benefits," he said. "We applaud all the states at the top of this index for their leadership in building the broadband infrastructure that is helping deliver economic success and improved quality of life for millions of our fellow citizens."
While it's no surprise that tech-centric states like Washington, Massachusetts and California ranked in the top 10, the report also showed how other states have made significant investments in broadband and have edged up in the index. Much of these gains were due to investments and partnerships between the government and the private sector.
The report also points out that while federal initiatives such as the FCC's National Broadband Plan and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's investments in infrastructure and adoption promotion are important, it also takes strong commitment at the state level to ensure stimulus funds are invested get the maximum effect.
For example, Massachusetts has used state funds to attract private sector investment in building statewide fiber networks. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute has also added planning capacity that helps the public and private sectors work together.
In Illinois, which ranks 24th on the index, the state's governor pushed through an initiative to offer a $6 million investment in a Gigabit challenge to encourage network investment. The state has also invested $500,000 in a Broadband Innovation Fund to promote adoption. Ohio which ranks 39th on the index has also invested $8.1 million to improve its statewide network to connect schools, libraries, and other "anchor" tenants. In northern Ohio, the One Community initiative has received federal stimulus money to help spur broadband adoption as well as technology-based economic development.
The study gathered information from a variety of sources, said John Horrigan, a senior fellow at TechNet and a broadband policy expert with the Joint Center for Political Studies. The report includes information available about broadband adoption, as well as the rate of growth in adoption from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and other sources.
And it looked at network speeds using information from network optimization company Akamai and the Fiber to the Home Council. It also considered information regarding the economic structure supporting broadband such as the percentage of jobs in the information technology and communications sectors. And finally it considered app developer jobs as an indicator of future growth. Internet equipment provider Cisco System underwrote the study.
The report also highlighted states that TechNet considers "top overachievers" when it comes to broadband, including California, Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota and Oklahoma, among others. States that ranked the lowest were New Mexico, Louisiana, Hawaii, Alaska and Arkansas.