Illinois falling behind in Internet connection speed

Tue. August 25, 2009 12:00 AM by Chicago Breaking News

Chicago, IL - llinois ranks 14th in the latest annual ranking of Internet connection speeds in the United States, two spots lower than a year ago.

The survey, compiled by the Communications Workers of America, was released today.

Even though Illinois fell in the rankings, its average download speed of 6.4 megabits per second (mbps) showed an improvement from 2008, when the average was 5.2 mbps.

Still, fully 18 percent of the people who participated in the union's survey had such slow Internet access that they didn't qualify as broadband users. To gain that distinction, a minimum of 768 kilobits per second is required.

The survey is based on data collected from more than 413,000 Internet users who took an online test between May 2008 and this May. A total of 10,493 participants were from Illinois. Breakdowns by city and county were not available.

According to the union, Internet connection speeds in the United States lag considerably behind those in South Korea, Japan and Sweden, which it said are "many times faster."

"The United States is still the only industrialized country without a national policy to promote high-speed Internet access, but that is set to change," the Communications Workers said in a press release. "A stipulation calling for a broadband rollout plan by spring 2010 was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that passed earlier this year."

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