NH News
2:56 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

N.H. Internet Speed Ranking Slips Slightly, State Still In Top 10

For 2007 to 2012, Internet speed increased in the Granite State at pretty much the same rate as Vermont and Massachusetts. But the most recent State of the Internet report found that Vermont was the only state to see its Internet speed drop between 2012 and 2013, while Massachusetts grew more than twice as fast as New Hampshire over the same time period.

New Hampshire ranked seventh in the nation for Internet speed in 2013, according to a new report.  That’s a slip from the state’s position in fourth place the previous year.

Of the top ten states at the end of 2013, New Hampshire was the only one to see its Internet speed grow at a rate slower than 10 percent. Nine out of top ten states were in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, according to Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report, which tracks changes in Internet speed around the world..

At the end of 2013, the average connection speed in New Hampshire was 11.8 Megabytes per second, compared to 10.1 Mbps in 2012.

Residents in the North Country likely experience slower average speeds. While Internet service providers have expanded broadband networks where demand is highest, most rural areas of the country lack the infrastructure faster connections.

From 2007 to 2012, average connection speed more than doubled in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

According to the latest numbers, Vermont, which had the fastest Internet speeds at the end of 2012, dropped to 24th fastest by the end of 2013. It was the only state in the U.S. to see its average speed drop.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts grew more than twice as fast as New Hampshire between 2012 and 2013. 

So why does New Hampshire consistently rank in the top 10? Robert Fleischman, Chief Technology Officer for Xerocol, says “the bottom line” is our unique relationship with Massachusetts.

When you think of the America’s hub of digital innovation, Silicon Valley probably comes to mind. But Fleishman says while Silicon Valley has blazed a trail for all types of Web businesses, “a lot of the Internet infrastructure came from Massachusetts.”

“Where were a lot of the major Internet companied based?” Fleishman says. “Cambridge, right near MIT.”

As many Bay Staters have moved to New Hampshire over the last couple decades, Fleischman adds, Internet providers have bumped up connection speeds to keep pace with demand.

“It’s all about economy and who’s willing to pay,” Fleischman says.