Seattle tops 'Forbes' most-wired cities list

Magazine's annual survey of broadband access in American cities has a few surprises, like Washington, D.C., at No. 3. And where's San Jose?

Jim Kerstetter Staff writer, CNET News
Jim Kerstetter has been writing about the high-tech industry since the 1990s. He has been a senior editor at PC Week and a Silicon Valley correspondent at BusinessWeek. He is now senior executive editor at CNET News. He moved back to Boston because he missed the Red Sox. E-mail Jim.
Jim Kerstetter
2 min read

The list-happy business magazine Forbes released on Thursday its annual survey of the nation's most wired cities. Topping the list is Seattle, the home of Amazon.com, Starbucks, and Microsoft (well, it's in a suburb).

Surprisingly, none of California's famed tech cities made the top 10. San Francisco dropped to No. 11 from No. 4 last year, mainly because of its lack of high-speed access options. But take heart, San Franciscans: Forbes still says you're the most tech-savvy city in the country, since you have the highest percentage of home broadband Internet users. Following right behind the City by the Bay are San Diego and Los Angeles.

San Francisco has a high level of home broadband adoption, but didn't crack the top 10 of Forbes' list. Stephen Shankland/CNET News

The top 10:

1. Seattle, Wash.

2. Atlanta. Ga.

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Orlando, Fla.

5. Boston, Mass.

6. Miami, Fla.

7. Minneapolis, Minn.

8. Denver, Colo.

9. New York City

10. Baltimore, Md.

But where's San Jose? Surprisingly, the sprawling heart of Silicon Valley didn't even make Forbes' top 30--even though three Ohio cities (Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus) made it there thanks to a state government-led push to invest in broadband access.

That's one of the keys to the Forbes list: The magazine weighed three factors while determining its list: broadband adoption, access options, and the number of Wi-Fi hot spots. While San Francisco was tops in broadband adoption, for example, it was 23rd in access options and 16th in Wi-Fi hot spots.

No doubt, the editors of Forbes will be getting letters from Washington and Ohio congratulating them on their insight, and letters from California assuring them that they have no idea what they're talking about.