Internet Speeds In Wyoming Faster Now Than Before Pandemic

Sep 2, 2020

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Internet speeds in Wyoming have increased by more than 50 percent since the pandemic truly hit the United States in March, even as more people started working from home.

Overall, most of the country has seen faster internet over the past six months, but Wyoming's average internet speed has increased the most, from roughly 40 mbps to almost 60 mbps, according to a report published last week by consumer comparison site WhistleOut.

Sherri Riggs, a social media specialist for the organization, said speeds did start to dip back around March before the trend reversed.

"Maybe people noticed their speeds were getting slower, so they upgraded their plan and started getting higher internet speeds because of that, Riggs said. "And then some internet providers were also increasing internet speeds because they knew that the demand was really high."

Rural states like Wyoming and Alaska had lower speeds pre-pandemic - and therefore tended to have the highest increases. Government programs to increase internet access might have also played a part.

"So these two states had the most room for improvement, and these two states also had big government pushes to increase internet access to rural areas," she said.

Whistleout drew on more than 717,000 speed tests conducted before and during the pandemic and mapped the increase or decrease in average speed for every state.

On average, the United States saw an increase from 84.9 mbps to 94.6 mbps. This means that even though Wyoming had the greatest percentage increase in internet speed, it's current average is still below what the rest of the country had before the pandemic.

A speed of 25 mbps is generally considered sufficient for most online activity.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Jeff Victor, at jvictor@uwyo.edu