PROVIDENCE — Congratulations: If you’re reading this in Rhode Island, this story may have loaded faster than it would have anywhere else in the country.
That’s because Rhode Island has the fastest average Internet speeds in the country, according to a review by HighSpeedInternet.com. The site, which has a tool that lets users test their own Internet speeds, ranked all 50 states. Rhode Island may be small, but we’re quick, with an average of 129 megabits per second for download speeds.
Rhode Island dethroned Maryland for the top spot in the annual HighSpeedInternet.com rankings. Montana came in last. Massachusetts came in seventh. The rankings filtered out duplicates and cellphone data to see what people were working with on their laptops, desktops, and other devices connected to their home Internet service.
One clear advantage Rhode Island has is its compact size. The states that came in last were generally rural. Those that came in near the top were on the East Coast, including the Northeast, places with dense suburban or urban populations. Number two was New Jersey.
However you measure it, Rhode Island has long been proud of its fast Internet speeds. It’s something the state often touts when it’s trying to lure businesses.
The big Internet providers in Rhode Island are also quick to promote speed performance.
“Rhode Island has historically provided some of the highest internet speeds in the country, an accomplishment that encourages businesses to grow and relocate here, and students and families to grow old here,” Jay Allbaugh, senior vice president and regional manager at Cox, said in an e-mail.
Allbaugh said Cox has made $266 million in capital investments in its Rhode Island network and would make another $152 million from 2021 to 2023.
Verizon, which offers Fios in parts of the state, pointed out Providence was one of the first places to get 5G coverage.
“One of the main reasons for our regional strength is that Verizon consistently invests in our network to offer our customers the quality experience and reliability they expect and deserve,” spokesman Chris Serico said in an e-mail. “As more people are doing more things, in more places with more internet connected devices, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in voice and data traffic on our network. We only expect that trend to increase.”
The 10 states with the fastest Internet service were:
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- Washington, D.C.
- New York
The 10 states with the slowest service were:
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
- New Mexico