The only U.S. city to make the cut was not New York City, San Francisco, Boston or Austin — it was Seattle.
The rankings were based on five criteria, with descriptions from UBM in quotes:
- Average Internet connection speed — “Faster is, of course, better. We consulted the most recent ‘State of the Internet‘ report from online tracking firm Akamai for information on services in cities worldwide.”
- Availability of citywide WiFi, preferably free and fast — “Ubiquitous mobile communications demand cellular-based WiFi networks — LTE (a.k.a. 4G LTE), WiMax, municipal broadband, and the like.”
- Openness to innovation — “Cities that accommodate startups are more likely to enjoy the benefits of early access to emerging technologies, along with the economic boosts that come with exciting young companies.”
- Support of public data — “Cities that open local data such as real estate records, 311 inquiries, location information, and various statistics to the public for creative use get our vote. Civic hackathons are a terrific vehicle for serving the public good via great city applications.”
- Security and data privacy — “It won’t matter much if a city has great Internet connectivity if citizens’ identities are being stolen online. To make this list, cities had to stand up in terms of security.”
In its description of Seattle, UBM actually didn’t have great things to say about Internet speed and public WiFi. But they noted the growing startup scene and also loved two aspects of the city: Plans to bring fiber Internet to Seattle and the city’s Startup Seattle program.
Washington D.C. broadband developer Gigabit Squared will begin offering its service here early next year, working with the city and the University of Washington to provide customers with laser-quick Internet speeds for relatively affordable prices.
Startup Seattle, meanwhile, is a program that was started by Seattle startup impresario Red Russak and handed over to the city earlier this year. The new effort is designed to support the growth of the Seattle tech startup community and make the city recognizable around the world as a thriving startup ecosystem by way of partnerships, marketing campaigns, new innovation hubs and a revived StartupSeattle.com website.
Here how the rest of the top 10 Internet cities round out: