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US boasts sixth fastest broadband speed, but Singapore, Chile pull ahead

The United States ranked sixth in Ookla’s global fixed broadband ranking for May 2023, with a median download speed of 248.27 Mbps. Countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Chile, United Arab Emirates, Iceland, and France surpassed the U.S. in terms of median download speed. The disparities in speed among states in the U.S. are also a concern, with Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Florida having the fastest median download speeds, while states like Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska had slower speeds.

Deploying high-speed broadband across a large landmass like the U.S. presents significant challenges, according to Mark Giles, lead industry analyst at Ookla. The NTIA’s $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program aims to address these challenges, but the timeline for BEAD-funded deployments is uncertain. Additionally, the NTIA has only allocated $1 billion for expanding middle mile infrastructure, which some operators have said is not enough to close rural coverage gaps.

Singapore is a standout example of a country with high-speed internet, with Singaporean provider Singtel recently announcing a deal with KKR to grow its presence in the data center market. Chile is another interesting case, having benefited from a rapid migration to fiber and strong competition among fiber players in the market. The U.S. has its own open access fiber network through the joint venture between AT&T and BlackRock’s Gigapower, but Chile also has an open access fiber player – OnNet Fibra – a joint venture between Telefónica and KKR.

It’s worth noting that China and France are also making strides in improving their broadband speeds. China launched its first medium orbit broadband satellites in May, and Huawei and China Mobile have built a 1,860-mile nationwide backbone with a stable and reliable bandwidth of 1.2 Tbps. France had the fastest average download speed in Europe in a study from Opensignal last October.

Entries are now open for the Broadband Nation Awards, which honor companies for outstanding achievements in broadband. The deadline for registration is July 18. Blomaca

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