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Allconnect Regional Broadband Report: Northeastern Edition

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  • The Northeast enjoys the best overall internet speeds of any region in the country.
  • Suburbs of major metropolitan areas enjoy the fastest speeds, but the slowest towns still have speeds above the FCC’s minimum broadband speed threshold.
  • New York City tops the major Northeast cities for internet speed.
  • New Jersey has the top speeds in the Northeast and the country, while Maine has the worst speeds in the region.
  • Connecticut has the lowest average monthly cost for internet at $36.98 while Maine has the most expensive at $48.71.

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The Northeast is known for a lot of things — rugged coastline, world-class metropolises, spectacular fall foliage — and we can now add fast and cheap internet to the list. 

In our analysis of over 130,000 internet connections in the U.S., no region produced better results than the Northeast. The area that includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont had an average download speed of 127 Mbps, compared to 120 Mbps in the South, 118 Mbps in the West and 94 Mbps in the Midwest.

Out of that group, five of the Northeast’s nine states — Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island — finished in the top 10 of our national rankings.

Our methodology

For this report, the Allconnect team analyzed internal data from over 130,000 speed tests in the United States collected between June 2020 to March 2023.

For this report, the Allconnect team analyzed internal data from over 130,000 speed tests in the United States collected between June 2020 to March 2023. We also analyzed pricing information from the NTIA’s BroadbandUSA program for average internet pricing information. We relied on data from the U.S. Census Bureau for information on population and from the Pew Research Center for internet statistics.

Learn more about our research

Suburbs of major cities experience the fastest speeds

While the Northeast region all together enjoys some of the best internet speeds in the country, the very fastest connections can be found in the suburbs around its major cities. Irvington, NJ is just outside of Newark, and topped our list for the fastest download speeds with a whopping 312 Mbps, and came in third for upload speeds with 233 Mbps.

The slowest speeds in the Northeast are still above the FCC’s minimum threshold 

Unlike the Western region of the U.S., even the slowest speeds in the Northeast are faster than the FCC’s threshold for minimum broadband speeds, defined as 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The connections range from 36 to 75 Mbps download speed and 8 to 11 Mbps upload speed.

Despite the Northeast’s faster speeds overall, its slowest towns are still far from achieving the fast speeds of the Northeast’s top towns, which also have some of the fastest speeds in the country.

While some of the Northeast’s lower-ranking towns are sparsely populated, many of them are not. Wilkes-Barre, PA has a population of over 44,000 but only has an average download speed of 36 Mbps. Altoona, PA has a population of over 43,000 and has 62 Mbps. Albany, NY has almost 100,000 people but still ranks in the bottom 10 cities for download speed. 

Spread-out areas with lower populations have often been overlooked for broadband infrastructure and historically have had the slowest speeds. But the Northeast’s slowest cities have demonstrated that the digital divide reaches beyond small rural towns – it also affects places like Albany, NY. 

72% of rural Americans said they had a home broadband connection, compared to 77% of urban residents and 79% of suburban residents, according to a Pew Research Center report.

New York City has fastest download speeds of any major city in the region

Although suburban areas had the fastest internet speeds in our analysis, most of the big cities in the Northeast region also fared well. New York City came in first on our download speed list with 177 Mbps, while Pittsburgh grabbed the top spot for upload speed with 67 Mbps.

Philadelphia has the slowest average download speed of the major cities in the Northeast with 108 Mbps and Buffalo has the slowest upload speed with 33 Mbps.

Regardless of the city, it’s important to keep in mind that the actual internet speeds residents experience are most likely a fraction of what they’re advertised.

This phenomenon is by no means unique to the Northeast. In our nationwide study of advertised vs. actual internet speeds, we found that Americans are only getting about 79% on average of the download speeds they pay for. 

The Northeast pays less for internet on average

The average monthly price for broadband plans in states in the Northeast comes in at just $41.54, compared to $64 for the country all together. Connecticut enjoys the cheapest service, with an average internet bill of just $36.98. Here is how every state in the region ranks for the average cost of a home internet plan:

Maine ranks last in the Northeast for both download and upload speed

In a region that earned above-average marks for internet speed across the board, there is one glaring exception: Maine is in the bottom 10 of worst download speeds in the U.S. and has the worst upload speeds in the entire country.  

That low ranking is largely due to Maine’s demographics. According to FiveThirtyEight’s Urbanization Index, which calculates how rural or urban a state is, Maine is the seventh least densely populated state in the nation. With residents so spread out, it can be difficult for providers to build the cable infrastructure necessary for broadband connectivity. 

That said, there was one state in the Northeast that ranked lower on the Urbanization Index than Maine: Vermont. Even though it’s less densely populated than Maine, residents actually experience slightly better download and upload speeds. Unsurprisingly, each of Vermont’s top five cities for download speed were all clustered around its most populous city, Burlington. 

New Jersey has the fastest speeds of any state in the region

The Garden State not only has the best all-around speeds in the Northeast — it also has the best internet speeds in the country. New Jersey ranks first for download speeds at 148 Mbps, behind only Maryland’s 140 Mbps average speed. It’s also number 3 for upload speeds at an impressive 61 Mbps, slightly behind Maryland’s 68 Mbps and Rhode Island’s 70 Mbps.

In the most well-connected region in the country, New Jersey cities make up the top two cities in the region for download speeds: Irvington and Cranbury. Two other cities in New Jersey, Hoboken and Elizabeth, are also in the top 20 fastest cities in the region.

According to FiveThirtyEight’s Urbanization Index, New Jersey is the second most urban state in the country, behind only New York. Just as Maine’s broadband infrastructure is hampered by a largely rural, spread-out populace, New Jersey benefits from how close its residents live to one another. Unlike their New York neighbors, though, New Jerseyans have fewer options for internet service — six compared to the nine that operate in New York.

Wrapping up

The Northeast beats the rest of the country when it comes to fast broadband speeds, but its slowest cities have demonstrated that even highly populated areas lack sufficient internet speed.

While its slowest towns still beat the West’s, the large gap between the Northeast’s fastest and slowest towns can no longer be attributed solely to a lack of broadband deployment in rural areas. Its slowest towns are highly populated metro areas yet still fall behind. 

For researchers and journalists

If you would like to know more about this topic, we can assist you. Our experts can help you dig deeper into the data.

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Camryn Smith

Written by:

Camryn Smith

Associate Writer

Camryn Smith is an Associate Writer with She specializes in writing about the broadband industry and helping consumers navigate complex internet service purchasing decisions…. Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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