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Google Fiber, other small ISPs deliver fastest speeds in 19 U.S. states – Ookla

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

New data from benchmarking company Ookla showed regional internet service providers (ISPs) beat out national rivals to deliver the fastest average speeds in 19 U.S. states in Q3, dominating primarily in the Midwest and Southern regions of the country.

“Smaller ISPs have the edge in connecting smaller, often more rural communities that aren’t as profitable for the big six ISPs,” Ookla noted in its report. “Large, national providers had the fastest median download speeds in most every Northeastern state during Q3 2021," but it was a different story in several other regions.

Google Fiber topped the charts with the highest median download speeds in Alabama (234.26 Mbps), Kansas (205.40 Mbps), Missouri (211.11 Mbps), North Carolina (220.44 Mbps) and Utah (204.95 Mbps). Meanwhile, MetroNet won out in Indiana (163.96 Mbps), Iowa (191.89) and Kentucky (197.65).

In the Midwest, smaller providers also dominated in Illinois (RCN), Minnesota (USI), Nebraska (Allo), North Dakota (Sparklight) and South Dakota (Midco). Down South, regional players fended off larger rivals in Arkansas (OzarksGo), Mississippi (C Spire), Tennessee (EPB) and South Carolina (Horry Telephone Cooperative). Top honors in New Mexico also went to Sparklight, with GCI clinching the number one slot in Alaska.

In order to be included in Ookla’s analysis, operators needed to account for 3% or more of the total test samples taken in a given market. Though the smaller providers in its analysis had different business models, Ookla said all of those which took top speed honors offered a top tier speed of at least 1 Gbps.

Ookla noted that internet cooperatives and municipal broadband providers like “stood out” in the South, pointing to EPB in Tennessee as a prime example. “EPB (formerly known as the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga) is Chattanooga’s municipal, city-owned fixed broadband and offers a 10 Gbps download speed plan, which no other top provider on this list offered to residential customers,” it said.

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