RealTime IT News

Who's Tops in U.S. Broadband Deployments?

Which U.S. state has the most high-speed Internet users?

According to Akamai's new State of the Internet report, it's tiny Delaware that ranks first in the nation, with over 60 percent of its connections to Akamai's content delivery network coming in at 5 megabits per second (Mbps) or faster.

"The fact that Delaware was the leader in terms of high broadband connectivity was surprising -- it's not entirely clear why that was the case," David Belson, Akamai's director of market intelligence, told InternetNews.com. "It was surprising that California didn't rank higher on the high broadband list."

According to the company's data, California did not crack the top-ten list for U.S. connections. Following Delaware is Rhode Island (42 percent), New York (36 percent), Nevada (34 percent), Oklahoma (33 percent), Connecticut (32 percent), New Hampshire (30 percent), Massachusetts (29 percent), Maryland (27 percent) and the District of Columbia (27 percent).

Belson said California ranked 17th on the list, with 21 percent of its connections coming in at 5 Mbps or higher.

The study, which used data culled from Akamai's global network of content delivery servers, also highlighted the U.S.'s often-decried ranking in international broadband speeds.

During the first quarter of 2008, the U.S. came in seventh in Akamai's report, with an average of only 20 percent of connections coming in at or above 5 Mbps. South Korea topped the international rankings at 64 percent, followed by Japan at 48 percent, Hong Kong at 35 percent and Sweden at 29 percent.

A study by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) found similar results last year.

However, most traffic continues to originate from the U.S., Akamai said. The company's study reported that almost 30 percent of the IP addresses it saw came from the U.S., while 10 percent originated in China, the second-place finisher.

Akamai's global network of accelerated servers, which deliver content for customers and major sites, affords a unique view into how and from where users are connecting. It also shows how they and the sites they visit may be vulnerable to various forms of Internet attacks.

Akamai also said its network saw 329 million unique IP addresses during the first quarter of 2008. According to Belson, the figure represents a 5 percent jump over the previous quarter.

Akamai's server network also includes detection points where it can monitor threats to the Internet. The most common threat seen by Akamai during first quarter was attacks against Port 139, at nearly 30 percent of all attack traffic.

Port 139 is typically used for Microsoft Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) that enables file-sharing across networks. Various worm families including Klez, and Nimda specifically target the port.

There was also nearly 12 percent of attack traffic directed at Port 22, which is commonly used for secure shell, or SSH , traffic. SSH attacks have been in the news recently with a vulnerability in the way that Debian-based Linux distributions provide SSL keys for SSH.

The report marks Akamai's first State of the Internet study. In the future, Belson expects to find increases in the number of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai's servers, which will provide an even greater basis of data from which to draw conclusions.

"What will be interesting to see are the different rates in the connectivity percentages," Belson said. "It was hard to find some really definitive trends but as we begin to build that body of data, we will be able to say that things are growing in a particular state or geography."

The company's next study will likely include additional metrics that further show how users are connecting," he said.

"One of the other interesting things that we hope to look into next time are the types of connections ... corporate or mobile," Belson said. "We'll be looking for other vectors to slice and dice that should provide some interesting results."