RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – It is getting easier to stream your favorite cat video.

According to a new report, fixed broadband speeds across the U.S. are increasing, with Raleigh ranking as the country’s fourth fastest city.

In the second and third quarters of 2018, download speeds in the U.S. increased 35.8 percent over 2017, with upload speeds increasing by 22 percent.

The data and rankings were released in the 2018 Speedtest U.S. Fixed Broadband Performance Report by internet data, testing and analysis company Ookla. The authors cite gigabit-speed availability as driving the increase.

“With gigabit expanding across the nation, fixed broadband speeds in the United States are rapidly increasing,” the report notes.

“As ISPs continue to build out their fiber networks and gigabit-level speeds expand we only expect to see internet speeds increase across the U.S. ”

According to PC Mag online, fixed broadband refers to high-speed data transmission to homes and businesses using technologies such as T-1, cable, DSL and FiOS and does not include the mobile market. The Ookla report points out that while the 5G network will soon be released for mobile devices, fixed broadband speeds in the U.S. continue to be faster.

Raleigh Ranks in Top 5

In the second and third quarters of 2018, Raleigh ranked as the fourth fastest city in the U.S. with a fixed download speed of 137.70 megabits per second (Mbps).

The country’s five fastest cities were:

1.       Kansas City, Missouri: 159.9 Mbps

2.       Austin, Texas: 143.66 Mbps

3.       Lubbock, Texas: 141.48 Mbps

4.       Raleigh: 137.70 Mbps

5.       San Antonio, Texas: 133.86 Mbps

Charlotte’s fixed download was 128.85, while North Carolina’s average download speed was 104.87 compared to the number one ranked state New Jersey, which had an average speed of 121.45 Mbps.

While Google Fiber is the fastest internet service provider in Raleigh and Charlotte at just under 200 Mbps, ATT&T Internet is the state’s top ISP overall with an average download speed of 133.61.

Durham came in at 129.65 Mbps speed with AT&T cited as the fastest provider.

Winston-Salem came in slower than the Triangle at 111.27 Mbps; AT&T is the fastest provider.

Greensboro was slowest among the state’s big cities at 103.17. Fastest provider is North State.

The U.S. ranked 7th in the world for download speed, between Hungary and Switzerland. The U.S. ranked 27th for upload, between Bulgaria and Canada.

Top Internet Service Providers

Ookla graphic

Tracking fastest ISPs

The Ookla report also ranks the country’s fastest ISPs using dated for Q2-Q3 2018. The top providers and average speed scores are:

1.       Comcast XFINITY: 104.67 Mbps

2.       Verizon: 102.57 Mbps

3.       Cox: 101.84 Mbps

4.       Spectrum: 87.56 Mbps

5.       AT&T Internet: 76.00

6.       CenturyLink: 28.32

The Report

According to Ookla, the 2018 Speedtest U.S. Fixed Broadband Performance Report is based on its Speedtest Intelligence tool. The most recent report used dated from 24,283,160 unique devices and 115 consumer-initiated fixed broadband tests using the Speedtest technology.

See the full report.