In a lot of ways, the emergence of the internet over the past three decades has been a great equalizer in the United States.

Instant access to information has helped even the most rural parts of the country keep up with the major population centers.

But the speeds at which online users are able to get their hands on that data is far from equal.

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Researchers at looked at the latest average download speed numbers from and they found that web surfers in South Dakota are being left in the dust but much of the nation.

According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the Pew Research Center, South Dakota's average download speed of 83.1 megabits per second is the eighth-slowest in America; 30.2 slower than the national average.

STATES WITH THE SLOWEST INTERNET (Average download speed - megabits per second)

  1. West Virginia - 60.7
  2. Montana - 63.4
  3. Wyoming - 69.9
  4. Maine - 71.8
  5. Idaho - 75.1
  6. Arkansas - 82.3
  7. New Mexico - 82.7
  8. South Dakota - 83.1
  9. Iowa - 85.0
  10. Wisconsin - 85.1

So where are states with the blazing-fast download speeds?

The Atlantic Coast dominates the list of the places with the best internet access, with Delaware's 145.8 megabits per second a full 43 percent faster than download speeds in South Dakota.

STATES WITH THE FASTEST INTERNET (Average download speed - megabits per second)

  1. Delaware - 145.8
  2. New Jersey - 144.7
  3. Maryland - 144.3
  4. Virginia - 139.6
  5. Massachusetts - 138.1
  6. Rhode Island - 134.5
  7. Texas - 133.7
  8. California - 131.0
  9. Georgia - 128.0
  10. Florida - 127.8

The research also shows that South Dakota is 28th in the nation in the percentage of households with access to broadband (69.4%) and 32nd in the percentage of households that have a desktop or laptop computer (76.9%).

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