More speed is needed

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A national study indicates that the average speed for Internet connection in Iowa is the fourth slowest among the states in the country.

A file that takes 15 seconds to download in Rhode Island, the fastest state, takes more than two minutes to download in Iowa.

Only Alaska, West Virginia and Wyoming have slower average speeds than Iowa.

The report, issued by the Communications Workers of America union, and provided through the Associated Press, is based on data collected on the Speed Matters Web site. Visitors to the site could take a test to determine how fast their Internet connection speed is, and the study is based on results from more than 80,000 users.

Iowans median download speed of 1.26 megabits compares to a national average is 1.97 and to a Rhode Island median speed but it's far behind the jackrabbit-like speed of Rhode Island, the fastest state, with 5.01 megabits.

More disturbing than the relative low speed of Iowa is the fact that the U.S. lags way behind other industrialized countries. Even Rhode Island lags behind Canada's 7.60 megabits, and Canada is left behind in the dust by Japan, fastest in the world at 61 megabits.

The union warns that slow Internet speeds will hurt America edge in competition with other countries as the Web becomes an even more important aspect of commerce.

We need to do better.