RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – North Carolina – the nation’s ninth largest state in terms of population – ranks only 20th in terms of internet value, according to a new study.

“Fixed internet” service value ranks 13th.

But for mobile internet value North Carolina falls to 29th.

The report comes as North Carolina has been aggressive in handing out grants and working with the federal government to expand broadband access in underserved areas.

The report from research firm Surfshark also finds that largely urban states such as the Northeast rank highest while the South ranks far lower.

Says Surfshark:

“[W]e set out to map internet inequality in the United States with the Internet Value Index (IVi), taking time to address the ever-growing digital divide and pinpoint which states are overpaying for their internet connections.”

Check out this chart:


The company explains its rankings are based on a variety of criteria.

“[T]he Internet Value Index … is an extension of the Digital Quality of Life (DQL) index, which tracks and reports on the digital wellbeing of 117 different countries, or 92% of the global population.

“The Internet Value Index draws from the greater DQL Index. Findings are calculated by dividing internet speed by internet affordability to determine which states overpay for their internet and which states receive fair prices for their connections.”

Some key findings:

  • New Jersey takes the lead with an Internet Value Index of 0.99 – more than 70% higher than the U.S. average of 0.58. The state is closely followed by Massachusetts (0.93) and New York (0.92).
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi comes in lowest with an index of 0.30 (around 50% below the U.S. average). Slightly luckier internet denizens reside in Wyoming (0.33) and Arkansas (0.35).

Broadband disparity: Poor, less white areas get worst internet deals, investigation finds