Demand for faster internet speeds has skyrocketed as the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns have forced consumers to work remotely, students to distance education, and businesses and consumers to adopt processes online to replace in-person interactions.
But there was a significant difference in the increased speeds internet users saw in different parts of the country, according to a new report from internet speed testing technology provider Whistleout.
The national average internet speed has increased by 40.1% between the pre-pandemic period and 2021, according to Whistleout. Before COVID-19, the United States averaged 84.5 Mbps. Since then, speeds have increased to an average of 118.4 Mbps.
COVID-19 Internet Speed Increase by State
The report found that the states with the largest increases in Internet download speeds in 2021 were Alaska (170.2%), Idaho (77.7%), Kentucky (70.6%), Iowa (64%), Wyoming (62.6%), Kansas (60.3%). %), Maine (59.7%), Montana (57.7%), Oklahoma (57.4%) and South Carolina (56.1%). Only West Virginia saw a decrease in download speed in 2021, dropping a total of 17.6% from 59.2 Mbps before the pandemic to 48.7 Mbps now.
In comparison, the states with the largest increases in Internet download speeds in 2020 were Wyoming (52%), Alaska (40%), Kentucky (37%), Kansas (36%) and Missouri (31%).
Despite these gains, the United States still lags other countries in internet speed gains, according to a separate report.
“While trying to meet these home connectivity needs, poor download speeds started to become a nuisance,” Whistleout said in its COVID-19 internet speed boost data press release. “Ultimately, ISPs have seen the demand for faster, more reliable home internet and are making it happen across the United States.”