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Published: Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 1:42 p.m.

Alaska Internet speeds among slowest

JUNEAU, Alaska — A new report finds Alaska’s Internet speeds are among the slowest in the country.
Only Arkansas had slower speeds during the second quarter of 2014, according to the report, set for release later this month, from Internet content delivery company Akamai Technologies.
Alaska’s Internet speeds are up 33 percent from last year. But they are about half as fast as the three states with the fastest Internet delivery — Virginia, Delaware and Massachusetts.
The rankings are based off content, such as websites and videos, delivered to users from their servers, KTOO reported.
Even in states with slower Internet speeds, the speeds are still fairly good, said the report’s author, David Belson, senior director of industry and data intelligence at Akamai.
Factors such as population density, geography and economics play a role in local Internet speeds. Communities off the road system get their Internet via satellite, which is slower than cables and fiber.
Alaska’s largest Internet providers, GCI and Alaska Communications, had to run fiber optic cable underwater more than 1,000 miles from Anchorage to the Lower 48.
David Morris, a GCI vice president, said the state, hospitals or schools sometimes will pay to build infrastructure for faster Internet to provide important community services. Once the infrastructure is in place, an Internet provider can offer faster Internet to local residents.
Alaska Communications recently announced plans to offer home Internet speeds of 30 and 50 megabits per second for Anchorage residents, while GCI is making Internet connections of 1 gigabit per second available in Anchorage.
Alaska averaged 7 megabits per second in the first quarter of 2014, according to Akamai Technologies. At that level, users should be able to stream video in high definition.

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