Skip to Content.
Sympa Menu

i2-news - CalREN Boosts Research-Heavy California Cities to Top of the List for Internet Connection Speed Worldwide

Subject: News for and about the Internet2 community

List archive

CalREN Boosts Research-Heavy California Cities to Top of the List for Internet Connection Speed Worldwide

Chronological Thread 
  • From: Janis Cortese <>
  • To:
  • Subject: CalREN Boosts Research-Heavy California Cities to Top of the List for Internet Connection Speed Worldwide
  • Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 10:03:08 -0700

CalREN Boosts Research-Heavy California Cities to Top of the List for Internet Connection Speed Worldwide

High-performance research & education networking cited in Akamai report as significant factor in rankings

With the release of the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai, the verdict is in: California research and education networking has helped to put three California cities at the top of the worldwide list for connection speed and unique IP counts.  Berkeley, CA is the speediest city on Earth for Internet connections, and the number 3 spot is held by Stanford, CA.  (In second place is Chapel Hill, NC.)  Taking unique IP counts as the benchmark as opposed to connection speed, San Diego, CA comes up as number two behind New York.

Both Berkeley and Stanford are of course homes to two of the top research universities in the world, UC Berkeley and Stanford University, while San Diego is home to another such mecca for research and education, UC San Diego.  All three universities, along with the rest of California’s K-20 public research and education community, are members of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), a nonprofit corporation created in 1997 by that community to enable it to benefit from high-performance networking.

On behalf of that community, CENIC owns and operates the ultra-high-performance California Research & Education Network (CalREN), which provides a high-performance, fiber-optic-based network path between California researchers and educators and connects to networks worldwide, enabling California’s researchers and educators to collaborate with colleagues almost anywhere in the world.  Institutions connected to CalREN as members of CENIC include all ten campuses of the University of California, Caltech, Stanford, the University of Southern California,  all 23 campuses of the California State University, all 112 campuses of the California Community College system, and nearly the entire California K-12 system.   Members also include many other prestigious research universities and research organizations, including the Naval Postgraduate School, University of San Francisco, Pepperdine University, Chapman University, and the University of San Diego.  Thanks to CalREN, these institutions create daily innovations in the sciences, arts, humanities, and teaching and learning at levels previously considered science fiction.

Given that all of the top ten cities for connection speed are associated with strong research and higher education presences, the positive effect for any area of having a high-quality research university nearby is quite clear, especially when that university is connected to an ultra-high-performance network like CENIC’s CalREN.  This effect is noted explicitly in the Akamai report released on April 21, 2010, which states that, “[in the 2009 third quarter report] it was noted that many of the top cities listed for the United States had one or more colleges/universities within, or close to, the city.   [T]he results once again show […] that so-called “college towns” (cities) are some of the best connected in the United States,” more so than even otherwise extremely highly-connected metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.  The report went on to speculate that in such areas, “the speed of local consumer broadband offerings is potentially higher than average.”

The report’s list of most highly-connected cities does, however, indicate that a nearby university can drive demand and growth of broadband beyond the campus   in relatively well-developed areas.  In remote and underserved areas, though, the advanced level of connectivity enjoyed by a nearby educational institution is less likely to spread beyond the campus.   This reinforces the need for continued investment in broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas and a National Broadband Plan such as that recently published by the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that the benefits of broadband are available to all citizens regardless of where they live.

“Data seem to support the conclusion that high speed networking  for advanced research and education  can help drive the availability of  higher-performance consumer telecommunications services , but this seems to be more the case in urban areas than rural or other underserved areas, pointing to the need for subsidies of some sort being required in these areas,” says CENIC President & CEO Jim Dolgonas.

The State of the Internet for the fourth quarter of 2009 can be downloaded with a free registration from Akamai’s website at

About CENIC •

California’s education and research communities leverage their networking resources under CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, in order to obtain cost‐effective, high-bandwidth networking to support their missions and answer the needs of their faculty, staff, and students. CENIC designs, implements, and operates CalREN, the California Research and Education Network, a high‐bandwidth, high‐capacity Internet network specially designed to meet the unique requirements of these communities, and to which the vast majority of the state’s K‐20 educational institutions are connected. In order to facilitate collaboration in education and research, CENIC also provides connectivity to non‐California institutions and industry research organizations with which CENIC’s Associate researchers and educators are engaged.



  • CalREN Boosts Research-Heavy California Cities to Top of the List for Internet Connection Speed Worldwide, Janis Cortese, 04/30/2010

Archive powered by MHonArc 2.6.16.

Top of Page