Perhaps this could be the state’s new tagline: Welcome to Washington, the home of the nation’s best broadband infrastructure.

OK, not too catchy.

But a new report released today by TechNet ranks Washington as the best in the nation for broadband when it comes to adoption, network quality, and economic structure. The state ranked ahead of Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland and California.

Of course, Washington state officials are already jumping on the report as an example of why this is a great place to do business. Governor Chris Gregoire, quoted in the press release from TechNet, notes that the study “confirms the importance of high speed Internet access in our state.”

The report didn’t get into specifics about broadband speeds, though Washington ranked lower on the scale when it came to network quality. (Delaware achieved the highest score in that category). It also didn’t compare individual states to other countries, some of which have routinely shown much higher broadband penetration and speeds than the U.S.

Here’s what the report said about Washington:

The state of Washington tops the TechNet State Broadband Index, driven by an economy that has a strong orientation toward (information and communication technology) and apps development. In picking apart the three main inputs to the index (adoption, network quality, and economic structure), Washington leads on the strength of its ratings on economic structure. With the presence of Microsoft and Amazon, as well as companies like F5 Networks and T-Mobile, and others, Washington has an economy which demands high speed connectivity.

You can read the full report, titled “TechNet 2012 State Broadband Index: Where States Rank as They Look to High Speed Connectivity to Grow Strong Economies and Vibrant Communities,”  here.

Broadband in the U.S.

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  • Forrest Corbett

    I’m struggling with how this could be. Vast amounts of the state doesn’t have access to broadband. Heck, at my home in Seattle I can’t even get DSL. Maybe we have a “climate” for the potential of good broadband, but I wouldn’t say we have it.

    • beowuff


      How do the people on the East side of the Cascades feel about this report? The peninsula? I suppose I can see if this just takes into account % of people in the state as apposed to area, as the majority of the population lives on the West side. But it still feels misleading.

      • Marcelo Calbucci

        It’s a comparative report, not an absolute metric. In other words, it just means we are ahead of the rest of the other states and from where I sit (Redmond) broadband is phenomenal.

        • Forrest Corbett

          Reading the study more, I think I just object to the criteria used. For example, adoption. If a state has very little broadband service, but in the areas that it exists it is widely use, that state will rank higher than a state that has an abundance of broadband but a lower percentage of the population uses it. So their take is 90% of 5% is greater than 50% of 50%.

          One of the other inputs is “a measure of the percentage of jobs in a state that can be counted as information and communication technology”. It’s a % of jobs. So if a state has 100k of those jobs, but also 100k mfg, 100k ag… it will score lower than a state that has 50k tech, 20k mfg and 20k ag.

          So if you have a state that has fast, inexpensive broadband throughout the state, you will score lower for “best broadband infrastructure” than a state that has slow, expensive, saturated broadband with Microsoft, Amazon, Google… in your backyard.

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