How fast – or slow, depending on your point of view – is overall Internet access in North Carolina? The caution flag is out.

In other words, s-l-o-w.

How about slower than in South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and especially Virginia?

In fact, the Tar Heel state ranks 30th among the states, according to a new report.

The data shows new fiber networks can’t be deployed quickly enough to satisfy net users thirsting for speed.

A speed map put together by Broadview Networks lists North Carolina in the yellow category – in other words, slow. That may be a nice tie-in with NASCAR, but Internet users want more.

The speed picture is improving. We reported on the Akami update, which is done quarterly, back in June and noted just how bad the U.S. ranked internationally. That report pointed out North Carolina wasn’t even in the top 10.

State-by-state data tells a sad story even though North Carolina access is up 15 percent from a year ago and 4.8 percent from the previous quarter.

Unfortunately, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Virgina – all N.C. competitors for jobs and talent – grew even faster.

A quick snapshot:

  • Virginia, No. 1 (13.7 megabits per second)
  • Georgia, No. 22 (10.7 mgps)
  • Tennessee, No. 27 (9.9 mgps)
  • South Carolina, No. 29 (9.7 mgps) 
  • North Carolina, No. 30 (9.7 mgps)

The report is based on data assembled by security technology firm Akami, which describes its report this way:

“The globally distributed Akamai Intelligent Platform delivers over 2 trillion Internet interactions and defends against multiple DDoS attacks each day. This provides us with unique visibility into Internet connection speeds, broadband adoption, mobile usage, outages, and attacks.”

AT&T is in the processing of deploying its gigabit Internet infrastructure across parts of the Triangle and Triad as part of the North Carolina Next Generation Network initiative. Time Warner Cable has promised faster Internet next year. Google Fiber may still come to the state. And RST Fiber in Shelby is expanding its own fiber network. Then there is the state-wide North Carolina Research and Education Network run by MCNC. So the infrastructure is improving.

Unfortunately, not as fast as many would like. 

Let’s get to the green flag.