Americans are getting over 249 Mbps in download speed, but are you?

Robin Layton

May 21, 2024 — 4 min read

Report: U.S. broadband speeds are just 6th in the world, but our average speed is pretty respectable.


Key findings

  • Americans got 249 Mbps of download speed and 32 Mbps of upload speed in April 2024
  • Mobile download speed increased to 115 Mbps from 111 Mbps
  • T-Mobile is the fastest mobile provider in Q4 of 2023 at 188 Mbps
  • Cox led broadband providers with a speed of 261 Mbps

As of April 2024, Ookla’s Speedtest.net shows Americans are getting 249.86 Mbps of download speed and about 32.81 Mbps of upload speed through their fixed broadband connections — good for 6th in the world for median fixed broadband speeds.

Considering “fast internet speeds” are generally defined as any download speed above 100 Mbps, Americans are doing quite well by this measure. In fact, according to an Allconnect data report, 9 in 10 households can access at least 100 Mbps speeds.

That’s an incredible improvement from a decade ago when the U.S. had an average download speed of just 31 Mbps. In 2013, America ranked 25th among 39 nations for broadband speed. 

Granted, the rest of the world improved too — Ookla estimates that global speeds went up 28% between 2021 and 2022 alone — but the U.S. has outpaced even that rapid progress. Much of that improvement resulted from faster fiber-optic connections being installed nationwide. Around 40% of Americans have access to fiber internet, with most offering incredibly fast speeds of over 1,000 Mbps. 

Fastest mobile and internet providers

The Speedtest Global Index report for the 4th quarter of 2023 also found T-Mobile as the fastest mobile operator with a median download speed of 188 Mbps, a jump of almost 20 Mbps. Cox led as the fastest fixed broadband provider with a median download speed of 261 Mbps, while “Spectrum was second at 252.71 Mbps and AT&T Internet third at 244.88 Mbps. XFINITY, Frontier, Optimum, and Verizon followed.”

Why is America behind 5 other countries?

Despite consistently climbing the rankings over the past decade, America still ranks well behind several other countries. Singapore has the fastest median internet speeds in the world, with 287 Mbps, followed by Hong Kong at 271 and Chile at 270 Mbps. So what are Hong Kong and Singapore doing that we’re not?

It’s mostly a square-footage advantage for both countries and substantial government financial investment. Hong Kong is only about 1,000 square miles, and Singapore has much less ground to cover at merely 278.6 square miles — about half the size of Los Angeles. As a center of finance in Asia, Singapore’s economy is also highly dependent on a high-functioning digital infrastructure.

Americans get fast internet, but we pay more for it

An Open Technology Institute report analyzing 760 internet plans across 28 cities in Europe, Asia and North America found that consumers in the U.S. pay more on average for monthly internet service than consumers abroad. The study reports that the average U.S. internet price across all plans in its dataset is $68.38/mo. for standalone internet service, including equipment rental fees and discounts. The analysis also determined that while the U.S. does offer fast speeds, like those provided by fiber-optic internet, these speeds are still the most expensive in the U.S. 

Even though we get and use fast broadband speeds on average, that’s a lot to pay, and prices are increasing.

According to the FCC’s International Broadband Report, the U.S. came in at No. 21 of 26 countries on the “Fixed Hedonic Price Index” — which adjusts for “cost, demographic and quality differences across the countries.” 

Of course, the U.S. is more spread out geographically than most of the countries on the list, so costs for delivering broadband will necessarily be higher. But some heavy internet users might be better off here than anywhere else. 

“For so-called bandwidth hogs who stream lots and lots of video, the U.S. offers some of the lowest cost per megabit transmission speed and megabyte data delivered,” Penn State telecommunications professor Rob Frieden told Politifact. That’s one way to tilt the price-value ratio in your favor — start streaming more Netflix. 

Americans may be doing well on average, but it’s not spread equally

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) latest 2023 data shows 92.2% of U.S. households have access to internet speeds of 100 Mbps or above. However, satellite internet is often the only game in town in rural areas, and it can be expensive and have high latency. Still, new wireless providers like T-Mobile and Verizon have stepped in to offer inexpensive alternatives like fixed wireless to satellite in many rural areas. 

That said, those with access to fiber internet are largely concentrated around cities, likely skewing U.S. broadband averages significantly. Not everyone in the country benefits from that knowledge similarly.

We still have an internet divide in the U.S. While some people are getting 1,000 Mbps download speed — enough bandwidth to stream 4K video on 40 TVs simultaneously — others are struggling to check their emails. Allconnect’s regional internet connectivity reports dive deeper into this issue.

Find out where your state ranks for internet availability in Allconnect’s access report.

The future of U.S. internet speed

The U.S. certainly still has a lot of issues to work out with its broadband infrastructure — the rural internet divide chief among them — but the latest numbers are still encouraging. A median speed of 249 Mbps would be plenty for all but the highest-usage homes. The problem is just making sure everyone can access speeds that high. 

Studies show that fiber and fixed wireless providers are seeing connection increases. With speeds reaching 10 GB and more, fiber is the future. Fixed wireless hits 200 to 300 Mbps speed, keeping smart homes with two to three heavy internet users seamlessly online.

Want to see how your internet compares to the nationwide average? Take our speed test below to find out.

Your speed test results:

Download Speeds

888 Mbps

Upload Speeds

88 Mbps


Need more for the price?

Try these helpful hacks to improve your internet speed. Or if you just want more bang for your buck, check out providers near you with more speed for the price. Either way, we’ll help you find what you need.

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Pro Tip: For best results, use an Ethernet cord to connect your router or modem directly to your device before you run the test.

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Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site MYMOVE.com. … Read more