Digital Inclusion Speed Test
Broadband speeds in U.S. public libraries have improved significantly in recent years yet continues to lag behind national broadband connectivity standards, according to “Broadband Quality in Public Libraries,” a new supplementary report (.pdf) released jointly on April 14, 2015 by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland College Park as part of the Digital Inclusion Survey.
The study examined the quality of broadband access in more than 2,200 public libraries by collecting data on upload and download speeds in 49 states.
Libraries reported progress in their public Internet speeds—nearly half of all libraries report subscribed Internet download speeds as being greater than 10 Mbps in 2013, compared with only 18 percent of libraries four years earlier. New speed test data collected from July-August 2014 found median download speeds of 30 Mbps for wired and 13 Mbps for Wi-Fi connections in city libraries to rural libraries clocking download speeds of 9 Mbps and 6 Mbps, respectively.
Other highlights include:
- Captured speed delivered to individual users’ devices is significantly less than the subscribed network speed;
- In most cases, quality of service degrades at peak use times, sometimes dramatically – for example, direct connection download speeds in city libraries are 69% lower during heavy usage vs light usage periods.