Austin Tops San Francisco In Study Of Fastest Download Speeds

Pando Networks is releasing new data today about American broadband speeds, taken from over 10 million downloads facilitated by the company’s consumer-facing software throughout the course of 2011. The study’s goal was to discover which cities in the U.S. had the fastest average download speeds, and not surprisingly, major tech hotspots like San Francisco, Austin, Seattle and New York all led the pack.

But topping the list? Not San Francisco. Instead, the honors go to Austin, which saw speeds of 841 KBps, Pando found.

Pando has good reason to track metrics like this, as it provides software to both consumers and businesses that enable downloads of large files. Game companies contract with Pando to have their games distributed using Pando’s software, which then measures the speed of the download as the data is delivered to end-users.

The client runs in the background on users’ computers, and while its use case biases the study a little bit towards a certain type of computer user, the large sample size still makes it possible to paint a decent picture of comparative speeds in the states and cities the study analyzed.

Among the largest cities in the U.S., (those with populations greater than 500,000), the fastest speeds were recorded primarily in tech hotspots, with Austin, as noted above, arriving in first place. Following that were San Francisco (828 KBps), Boston (827 KBps), Seattle (805 KBps), and New York (787 KBps).

Meanwhile, El Paso, Texas had the slowest speed, at 483 KBps – or, about half that of Austin. Other pokey towns included Fort Worth (517 KBps), Oklahoma City (518 KBps), Albuquerque (537 KBps) and Denver (550 KBps).

In terms of regions, the densely populated Northeast and mid-Atlantic fared well, while more rural areas suffered. The fastest state was Rhode Island, with an average speed of 963 KBps, which topped Delaware’s 923 KBps and New Jersey’s 897 KBps.

Idaho was the slowest state, averaging 387 KBps, followed by Oklahoma (443 KBps) and Montana (452 KBps). South Dakota, however, surprised with a speed of 712 KBps, topping both Florida and Illinois.

The study also rated ISPs, finding Comcast delivered the highest average download speeds (941 KBps), followed by Optimum Online at 874KBps,  Charter Communications at 868KBps, Cox at 800KBps, Verizon at 799KBps and Time Warner’s Road Runner at 737KBps.

The full list of top cities (those with populations over 500,000) is below. Speeds are KBps:

  1. Austin 841
  2. San Francisco 828
  3. Boston 827
  4. Seattle 805
  5. New York 787
  6. Baltimore 781
  7. Washington DC 750
  8. Philadelphia 723
  9. Louisville 701
  10. Chicago 692
  11. Los Angeles 665
  12. San Jose 661
  13. Indianapolis 657
  14. Milwaukee 635
  15. Fresno 633
  16. Portland 630
  17. Sacramento 629
  18. Tucson 625
  19. Nashville 624
  20. San Diego 612
  21. Dallas 604
  22. Jacksonville 600
  23. Columbus 595
  24. Las Vegas 592
  25. Phoenix 581
  26. Memphis 581
  27. Houston 579
  28. Detroit 565
  29. Charlotte 560
  30. San Antonio 555
  31. Denver 550
  32. Albuquerque 537
  33. OK City 518
  34. Fort Worth 517
  35. El Paso 483