By Robert Kalesse
Special to Delaware Business Times
The Consumer Electronics Association, which serves as a standards and trade organization for the consumer electronics industry, recently ranked Delaware No. 1 in the U.S. for fastest Internet speed, at an average rate of 16.2 megabits per second.
First reported by The Hill, a political newspaper based in Washington, D.C., the CEA’s survey resulted in a grade of A+ for the First State in the ability to provide reliable, high-speed Internet.
Greg Gurev, CEO and “head sherpa” of MySherpa, a Wilmington based company that manages computer services for locally grown companies, said it’s great to see Delaware ranked at the top in any category that directly relates to advancing technology.
“This is real positive for local businesses that rely on information technology,” Gurev said. “We have so many companies based in the information age, in industries like banking, pharmaceuticals and bio tech, right here in Delaware, so this news really bodes well for those businesses.”
Gurev said the CEA’s numbers are backed up by a recent report from Akamai, an Internet service provider located in Massachusetts, which reported that Delaware enjoys rates of 17.5 megabits per second, along with fastest connections of 75.7 Mbps. Only Singapore and Hong Kong reported quicker connections.
“Those numbers say a lot about how Delaware has invested heavily in improving broadband across the state, most notably with the Broadband Fund of 2013,” Gurev said. “Since that time, school, libraries, rural areas have been better served with new fiber optics from Wilmington to Georgetown. As a result, roughly 99 percent of the state is now covered by wireless.”
In addition to receiving a top grade in reliable high-speed Internet, Delaware also received a B+ in the “Welcomes New Business Models” category, due in part to the First State’s public support of sharing economy companies like Uber and Lyft, and a B in “Innovation Momentum,” “Entrepreneurial Activity,” “Tax-Friendliness,” and “Tech Workforce.”
The results led CEA to quantify Delaware as an “innovation champion,” along with eight other states and the District of Columbia. Vince Borrelli, director of operations for Diamond Technologies, a full-service IT firm located in Wilmington, said Delaware has been home to significant industries that require cutting edge technology in order to stay competitive.
“As a local technology solutions firm, we [Diamond] have seen this on a local level, from assisting St. Elizabeth’s High School with a high-speed wireless network to being the first to implement cloud-based business applications for the state of Delaware [through the use of] Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform,” Borrelli said. “There is innovation all around us here in the First State.” ♦