A state-by-state analysis of internet speeds shows that our region has some of the slowest broadband and mobile network speeds in the country.
Wyoming, Montana and Idaho rank in the bottom five for broadband speed. The analysis was done by the company that runs the online metric application Speedtest.
Network congestion is a big factor in internet speed, says Nikki Asay. She’s the marketing coordinator at Ookla, the company behind Speedtest. But she says in rural areas the problem is more likely due to lack of broadband infrastructure.
“Those states have a low population density, which can make the broadband investment there less cost-effective,” says Assay.
Broadband speeds can play an important role in rural economic development, especially as communities try to attract tech industries and new residents who might be able to work remotely.
Asay points out that change can come quick to internet speeds in a given state — an investment in broadband infrastructure can go a long way in rural areas.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.