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EDC leader says state's slow Internet loses jobs

Wisconsin News

Wisconsin is losing out on jobs because the state's high-speed Internet service is not extensive enough - or fast enough - according to Reed Hall, director of the state's Economic Development Corporation.

Wisconsin ranks 22nd among the 50 states in its average speed for broadband, and it's 26th in the amount of service that's faster than four mega-bits per second. The rankings come from Akamai Technologies, a New York firm that keeps track of broadband trends around the world.

Hall says people want to live and work in places with affordable and high-quality broadband. He said it's a fact that businesses have not opened in Wisconsin because of a lack of high-speed service in some parts of the state.

Hall said areas without broadband are a competitive disadvantage. Akamai says the United States ranks 8th in average broadband speeds. South Korea and Japan are the two fastest.

Hall says 8th place is not good place if American wants to lead the world's economy. Wisconsin has an average speed of 7.3 megabits per second. Vermont, Delaware, Washington D.C., New Hampshire, and Utah are the five fastest - all averaging 9.5 to 10.8 megabits per second.

The state's EDC surveyed businesses online through about their high-speed needs. Hall says the survey will expose the weakest areas of the state.