US download speeds sluggish compared with other countries

Does your Internet download speed seem painfully sloth-like? This could be a result of the country you live in. The US ranks a lowly 31st in the world's consumer download speeds.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
The US ranks far below these top eight countries for consumer download speeds. Ookla

Considering the Internet was invented in the US, it's a bit strange that the country doesn't do better in speed rankings. Alas, it comes in at a sad 31st in global download speed tests.

According to data from Ookla, which runs Speedtest.net, the US places below dozens of countries, including Latvia, Moldova, Andorra, Estonia, and Uruguay. Asian and European countries appear to be leading the pack with Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania, South Korea, and Sweden snapping up the top five spots, respectively.

Ookla based its download speed results on millions of tests of consumer download speeds from across the globe. It calculates the rolling average of the data in Mbps, or megabit per second, in 30-day periods. Currently, Hong Kong has a whopping speed of 71.22 Mbps, while the US reaches just 20.74.

One of the reasons the US ranks lower than so many other countries is because of its size and lack of Internet infrastructure. There are still parts of the US where the Internet is slow, intermittent, or just available via dial-up.

Several companies are trying to capitalize on this by building out high-speed broadband networks. Google launched its uber-speedy Google Fiber in Kansas City, Kan., last year and is working on bringing it to Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. Amazon, AT&T, and Gigabit Squared are also said to be jumping on the high-speed Internet service bandwagon.

[Via VentureBeat]