N.H. 8th in Internet speed

New Hampshire has been clocked as one of the states with the fastest Internet connection speed, according to a 2009 study by the Communications Workers of America.

The Granite State came in eighth, beating out most of New England.

The CWA measured some 2,426 tests in New Hampshire, with an average download speed of 7.7 megabits per second and upload connectivity of about 1.5 mbps.

This year’s results are significantly better than 2008, when New Hampshire ranked 16th, with download speeds of 4.7 mbps and uploads of 974 kilobits per second.

The study also reveals that about 63 percent of the state still has connection speeds below the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of basic broadband at 768 kilobits per second. Only 37 percent of New Hampshire residents with Internet service had download speeds greater than 6 mbps, and just 1 percent had speeds greater than 25 mbps, which is the speed necessary for functions like telemedicine, smart building controls and some high-definition broadcasts.

Delaware had the fastest download speeds in the country, at 9.9 mbps, followed by Rhode Island at 9.8 mbps, and New Jersey at 8.9 mbps. Puerto Rico had nation’s slowest speeds, ranking 53rd, at 1.0 mbps, followed by U.S. Virgin Islands, 1.2 mbps, and Montana, 2.3 mbps.

In New England, Rhode Island had the fastest speeds. Massachusetts ranked fourth nationally, with speeds of 8.6 mpbs, followed by New Hampshire, Connecticut at ninth with 7.1 mbps, Maine at 42nd with 3.6 mbps, and Vermont at 45th place, with download speeds of 3.3 mbps.

CWA’s annual test measures average Internet connection speeds and compares them to tests conducted in Germany, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden.

According to the CWA, the United States ranked 15th behind other industrialized nations in the percent of the population subscribing to broadband.

The “2009 Speed Matters” report can be downloaded at speedmatters.org. — CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW