Annual Report: Europe vs US Broadband Performance 2020
2020's Unexpected Bonus: US Internet Speeds Doubled in 2020
- US broadband speeds increased 91% from 2019-2020, nearly doubling YoY, as measured by annual speed test medians
- US average broadband speeds overtook western EU countries like the UK, France, and Germany for the first time in 5 years
- Broadband speeds in the EU overall rose 57% from 2019–2020, 34% lower than the 91% performance increase in the US
American internet users have had a very good 2020: according to research performed by FairInternetReport, median US internet speeds in 2020 doubled to 33.16mbps, up from 17.34mbps in 2019. Covering the five years of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, this is the largest speed increase seen in the US, with speeds staying essentially the same in 2016 and 2017 (8.91mbps and 9.08mbps respectively), and 2018 recording a median speed of 12.83mbps.
The US stills lags behind many European and developed nations worldwide, and its major cities also often lag behind their European equivalents. That said, there is cause for celebration in Dallas, Seattle and Austin, after our analysis has shown that these cities are performing extremely well relative to most European capital cities.
This content is licensed CC BY-ND 4.0. When referencing or citing FairInternetReport data and content on third-party sites, please link your attribution to the source page on fairinternetreport.com.
Published: November 24th 2020
Updated: November 27th 2020
US vs Europe Speed Test Data Analysis
- US 50% slower than the fastest EU nations
- Denmark and Switzerland 2-3 times faster than EU average
- Italy continues to have the worst internet in the EU, often under 40% of other nations' speed
US vs Europe Major City Internet Performance Results
- Many US and EU cities saw 100%+ jumps in speed in 2020
- Austin increased nearly 3x from 22.63mbps to 64.72mbps
- Amsterdam nearly 2x faster from 31.21mbps to 60.31mbps
Comparing Population with Broadband Speed
US Broadband vs Developed Nations
- US broadband speed measurements increased 35% more than their counterparts in other developed countries, seeing an 91% overall increase compared to 56% aggregate increase of developed nations worldwide.
US vs European Nations Internet Performance
|Rank||Country||2020 Mbps||2019 Mbps||vs. US 2020|
US vs France Internet Performance
- US has 44% faster internet speeds than France
- France's 2020 speeds increased by 70% in 2020, 21% less than the US
US vs Germany Internet Performance
- US recorded 12% faster median mbps in 2020 than Germany
- Germany increased download speeds by 74% during 2019-2020
US vs Italy Internet Performance
- US broadband performance 160% ahead of Italy
- Italy's internet speeds went up by 42% in 2020
US vs The Netherlands Internet Performance
- US speed tests 52% slower than those in The Netherlands
- Netherlands enjoyed YoY increase of 64%
US vs Spain Internet Performance
- US has diverged from similar speeds to Spain; now 42% faster
- Spain catching up, increase YoY 2019-2020 by 73%
US vs The United Kingdom Internet Performance
- US broadband performance 21% faster than UK median
- UK speeds showed comparatively low 2020 increase of 38%
Methodology & Data
We loaded our custom dataset into SQL Server, and extracted city and country-level median speeds for our analysis.
"Developed" nations were selected for our analysis from the top 28 "High-income group" nations listed in Wikipedia's list of countries by GNI per capita article.
We created our graphs using DataGraph.