Seattle’s High Rate of Internet Connectivity Is a Great Plus in the Coronavirus Era

The city ranks as one of the most digitally connected urban areas in the nation, study shows
Updated: Tue, 03/24/2020 - 08:38

In the coronavirus era, connections matter more than ever, especially when it comes to remote working and the internet. On that front, Seattle has a leg up over most cities as the third best-connected city in the nation, with 91.5% of households having an internet connection.

Claiming the top spot in internet connectivity was San Jose, California, with 93.3% of households subscribing to internet service, followed by San Diego, with a 93% rate. Austin, Texas, at 91.4%; and Portland, Oregon, at 90.7% round out the top five.

Commercial real estate blog Commercial Café conducted the analysis and ranking the top 20 cities nationwide based on internet connectivity based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

“The recent quarantines and travel bans have driven companies to new lengths in order to stay open and operational,” Commercial Café says in detailing the rankings. “Now, possibly more than ever before, we are in the middle of the largest work-from-home (WFH) experiment in history. Meanwhile, those who have already been working from home understand the importance of internet connectivity and speed.”

The state of Washington overall, however, could use a boost in one area of internet connectivity: speed. The state ranks 12th in that measure, with an average download speed of 41 megabits per second (Mbps), according to Commercial Café and its analysis of BroadBandNow data.

“The Mid-Atlantic states overwhelmingly occupy the top 10 states for download speeds, measured in Mbps,” Commercial Café reports. “In particular, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia are the top three with speeds greater than 48 Mbps, topping out at 52 Mbps in New Jersey.   

In fact, Texas is the only state in the top 10 for internet speed that is not located in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast. While Montana, Maine and Vermont bring up the rear among states in internet speeds, with Montana at the bottom at 23.3 Mbps.

Among the reasons for this may be that these states are more rural and sparsely populated compared with more urban states like Rhode Island, 5th; New York, 6th; Massachusetts, 8th; and North Carolina, 9th — which have internet speeds ranging from 42.4 to 46.7 Mbps.

“This trend seems to hold true throughout other less-dense states, as well,” Commercial Café notes. “South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Mississippi all have average speeds of less than 27 Mbps.”

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