Microsoft headquarters home to some of America's fastest internet

A heatmap reveals the varied speeds of the 50 states.

A fast and reliable internet connection is essential for any tech corporation to prosper. Judging by the latest results, it turns out Microsoft’s decision to relocate their headquarters to Washington in 1986 has paid dividends for the company. The latest study reveals the state outperforms California, New York and Florida in the realm of average internet speeds.

Research conducted by Akamai reveals the average internet speeds across 50 states. Virginia took the top spot, recording an average of 13.7 Mbps, despite seeing a 4.3% decline from the fourth quarter of 2013. Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also made the top four. Microsoft’s home state Washington came in at 6th at 12.5 Mbps, up 8.5% from 2013. A generous peak of 50.2 Mbps could give them a slight advantage over other companies located in other parts of the nation.

Surprisingly, California placed 20th on the list, registering an average of 10.9 Mbps. This means companies in Silicon Valley, which include Google, Apple, Facebook and Cisco, may not have access to the nation's fastest internet. This places the Sunshine State below Utah, Wisconsin and North Dakota. 

Larger and more sparsely populated states, such as Alaska, Arkansas and Kentucky saw the lowest scores, recording around 7 Mbps respectively.

If current trends continue, the State of Washington may lose its top 10 spot, allowing other states and their corporations to claim bragging rights over the fastest internet speeds.

Source: Broadview Net via The Register | Image via Broadview Net

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I know these are averages, but with Google Fiber all over the Kansas City metro area in MO and KS, those rankings should be better. I know it's talking about the whole state, but with many of us getting a minimum of 700mbps down, we should be bringing that average up. Plus TWC, Comcast and AT&T are scrambling to upgrade speeds in the area since so many are abandoning them for the new sugah.

I'm with Cox here in Arizona, and they just doubled Internet speeds. I was at 25 Mbps, now I'm 50 Mbps, and most of the time it's around 60! Of course, it's not as cheap as it was in Bulgaria, but I'm glad they upgraded our speeds without a hike in the price.

Virginia resident here - I have Comcrap and it is rather expensive for what you get vs what I think it should be. They recently upgraded my area with 105/10 but as you can see the upload being 10 is just sad but I'm paying nearly $80/month for just that no Tv service either. Unless you argue with them to threaten to leave or whatever then you end up paying that...I'm able to "negotiate" pricing down to promo levels every 6 months but they have the upper hand vs the local phone company. Now you go 2 miles in either direction of me and you lose it...they won't upgrade other area's that have scattered residents which IMO are still enough around to warrant the new lines run. We have brand new FIBER running everywhere in the county as it was just laid down so I'd love to see Google or Verizon come in and use it when its already there and paid for.

sava700 said,
Virginia resident here - I have Comcrap and it is rather expensive for what you get vs what I think it should be. They recently upgraded my area with 105/10 but as you can see the upload being 10 is just sad but I'm paying nearly $80/month for just that no Tv service either. Unless you argue with them to threaten to leave or whatever then you end up paying that...I'm able to "negotiate" pricing down to promo levels every 6 months but they have the upper hand vs the local phone company. Now you go 2 miles in either direction of me and you lose it....

Across the road from me is Comcast, on my side there is no Comcast. They will not expand (houses are a bit separated) and there is no DSL or Fiber. But I have an unlimited CDMA 3G modem :-(

TurboAAA said,
Across the road from me is Comcast, on my side there is no Comcast. They will not expand (houses are a bit separated) and there is no DSL or Fiber. But I have an unlimited CDMA 3G modem :-(
Build their network for them! Get a deal with your neighbors to split the bill and increase the speed some so that you guys can put cables that go across the street :o

Article writer and a lot of the folks in this comment section need to look up what "average" means and how it might apply to this article...

I fail to understand how anyone can correlate average speeds in a state with the speeds that some companies may get.

FloatingFatMan said,
Considering the internet was born in the USA, you guys are REALLY behind the curve on access speeds...

Blame corporations? The backbone links are fast, it's just the ISP's limiting speed

Lots of rural ground to cover. ISPs will not deploy their highest speeds in lower income areas, so that naturally brings down the average.

FloatingFatMan said,
Considering the internet was born in the USA, you guys are REALLY behind the curve on access speeds...

The tubes are all full here :p

You do realize the US is much bigger than most of the countries that typically have average faster internet speeds...The UK is smaller than the state of Oregon. land wise. Easier to update/deploy new infrastructure when you don't have a lot of land to deal with.

Mr. Dee said,
When I visited the campus in 2011 the Wi-Fi sucked for the 4 days I was there.

Probably because for Campus guests they severely limit your bandwidth and access ;)

The MSFT-GUEST Wi-Fi sucks indeed. It's limited.
Few months ago they have a new Wi-Fi network, this one is faster. At least here in the Netherlands, but I think it's a globally used network seeing the terms of agreements page etc.. ;)

neufuse said,

Probably because for Campus guests they severely limit your bandwidth and access ;)

Actually no, we were using the same Wi-Fi network as employees. But that network is designed to only accommodate up to 400 users at a time. There were 1500 visitors to the campus at that time. The complaint was though, you have 1500 guest coming in from all over the world to a place that is suppose to be the technology mecca of America (and I don't mean that as a joke - 40,000 engineers work at the Redmond campus) and you can't have a more robust Wi-Fi infrastructure?

Don't get me wrong, sessions in certain rooms had decent Wi-Fi and I also had it on the shuttles which was really convenient.

john_alex said,
Wow, I live in the "second world" and my 8$/month internet connection is 5 times faster than Microsoft's :))

That's not MS's speed... that's an average...... MS has MAJOR backbone links that are multitudes of time's faster then anything you can get at home, especially when they have multiple homed OC-192 connections... which can do up to 10Gbps per link

That's just the average in that State. No way Microsoft as that slow of a connection.
They most likely have multiple 1Gbps links.

Total click-bait.

If a company wants fast access, it can get it.

Surprisingly, California placed 20th on the list, registering an average of 10.9 Mbps. This means companies in Silicon Valley, which include Google, Apple, Facebook and Cisco, may not have access to the nation's fastest internet.

I hope you're getting paid by the letter because you can't seriously be this dense.

boo_star said,
Total click-bait.

If a company wants fast access, it can get it.


Indeed these companies have gigabits sorta connections and their own private cables :p

Even my school has a private fiber cable connection of 1gbps...

Completely ridiculous. The average speed in the state has nothing to do with the speed a company with enough money to become an ISP themselves can afford.

I know they go to great lengths to put a positive spin on any news here for good old MS, but this is a new low even for them.

Yes, this article is either payed by some pr firm, or the writer is sucking up to some pr establishment or is really out of touch with reality or is just being a troll. Last one seems truer because lately neowin has articles that would put the biggest mac fanboy blog to shame. There are some wonderful articles here and there but most look like some paid-for infoworld write-up.

With Google and a few other Sillicon Valley companies owning dark fiber, does the author really think they don't have the fastest connections for houndreds of miles around. Employees of those companies that work from home probably have company paid fiber (or the next best thing available) brought to their house.

Sensible - let me, in fact, explain why.
Virginia rules the roost because it is home to the core of the Internet's precursor - ARPANET/MILNET - and those core linkages are kept up to date. The biggest of the core gates is still in Virginia, and specifically, in Ashburn. (All of the major Internet players - commercial and government - still have a major link and/or presence in Ashburn - including Akamai.)
Massachusetts - MIT and UMass, and the Route 128 (MA 128) Technology Corridor, which actually predates Silicon Valley.
Washington state - in addition to Microsoft, they are also a major hub for Boeing - which is also a major IT company. Real Networks is also based in the state (in Seattle, in fact - not far from Starbucks' HQ).
Delaware - the drive behind the First State cracking the Top Ten is biotech and Big Pill - not to mention major fiber deployments by both Comcast and Verizon.

PGHammer said,
Sensible - let me, in fact, explain why.
Virginia rules the roost because it is home to the core of the Internet's precursor - ARPANET/MILNET - and those core linkages are kept up to date. The biggest of the core gates is still in Virginia, and specifically, in Ashburn. (All of the major Internet players - commercial and government - still have a major link and/or presence in Ashburn - including Akamai.)
Massachusetts - MIT and UMass, and the Route 128 (MA 128) Technology Corridor, which actually predates Silicon Valley.
Washington state - in addition to Microsoft, they are also a major hub for Boeing - which is also a major IT company. Real Networks is also based in the state (in Seattle, in fact - not far from Starbucks' HQ).
Delaware - the drive behind the First State cracking the Top Ten is biotech and Big Pill - not to mention major fiber deployments by both Comcast and Verizon.
Seattle residential speeds are good in areas served by comcast but they are the only high speed provider in most of the city CenturyLink has not expanded their fiber in Seattle yet due to a rule that said 60% off the neighbors had to ok a utility box if it were to be installed on the sidewalk where CenturyLink needs to put them for fiber installation. Our new mayors gonna loosen the rules making it easier and Centurylink said they'll start in 5 Seattle Neighborhoods installing fiber that will bring 1 GB Internet to residential in those areas in 2015.

I was reading and someone mentioned about how since a lot of Microsoft employee live in area were ultra there view of the world can be distorted are assumptions about internet access and speed available to people.

Jason Stillion said,
I was reading and someone mentioned about how since a lot of Microsoft employee live in area were ultra there view of the world can be distorted are assumptions about internet access and speed available to people.
huh? Your comment doesn't make sense. Internet speeds are based on testing not Microsoft employee views or opinions. The article was merely referring to MS because it's headquartered in Redmond, WA.

It's more that because MS headquarters, and surrounding area were employee's live, MS employees view of how fast / accessible internet is can be distorted because they live in a bubble, and this can influence there business decisions..

I'm pretty sure that business decisions, and especially in a company such as Microsoft with plenty of experience, do not take in account only the state the business is located and consider other parts in the world as well. You're making them sound stupid.

Jason Stillion said,
It's more that because MS headquarters, and surrounding area were employee's live, MS employees view of how fast / accessible internet is can be distorted because they live in a bubble, and this can influence there business decisions..

MS almost 100,000 employees arond the globe have a lot of data to optimize anything Internet related! Yet the most important 'Corporate' desicions can be made without any hickup! Oh, who lives in a 'Bluble'?

XBOX ONE... The original plans for the platform with things like always online, and that guy from the XBOX team that compared internet stability to that of Power Supply would support this, so i can see where he is coming from. But this is just anecdotal