Which US State is Working Remotely with the Worst Internet?

global dedicated server access points
global dedicated server access points

Remote working has become increasingly commonplace since the pandemic. A vast number of businesses now rely on both in-house and remote staff to allow them to provide the level of services that customers expect. And employees too are benefiting from this improvement in flexibility, with staff who prefer to work from home now better able to do so. 

The U.S. Census Bureau revealed that between 2019 and 2021, the number of people primarily working from home tripled from 5.7% (roughly 9 million people) to 17.9%. Figures revealed by Statista show a similar picture. The research shows that, as of 2022, 91 million Americans have been offered the option to work remotely either full or part-time. 

Working from home of course brings with it a multitude of benefits. But in order for staff to work from home efficiently, they need to be fully connected to colleagues, clients and customers at all times. So for remote workers and those who employ them, internet access couldn’t be more important. 

The worst (and best) internet for working remotely, per state 

Millions of people in the US are now hugely dependent on their internet connection to effectively work from home, yet a surprising number are battling subpar download speeds to get their jobs done. 

We decided to find out more about how internet speeds are affecting the capabilities of remote workers, and how far the situation differs across state boundaries. 

Our research team looked into a number of factors – in each US state – relating to internet usage, including the average internet speed (megabits per second, Mbps), percentage of people working from home, cost of internet by state (per megabit, Mb) and the amount of people who searched ‘slow internet’ since January 2020.  We then scored each of these factors individually, coming up with an overall score out of 100. 

Taking into all the factors and the overall score, Vermont has the worst internet for remote workers with a score of 4.24. Currently only 19.50% of people in the state currently work from home, which is among the lowest in the country. Whilst the cost of internet was low, the average download speed was high and it had the highest search volume for ‘slow internet’ in the US (second only to Idaho).

The research shows New York has the best internet for remote workers, with an overall score of 100.69. In terms of download speed, the Empire state is 15th out of a possible 48, however at a low cost ($1.72 per Mb), low volume of ‘slow internet’ searches and high percentage of people (51.60%) currently working remotely means it topped our list, beating North Dakota by two points. 

Based on our research overall, the US states ranked best to worst for remote working are*: 

  1. New York: 100.69
  2. North Dakota: 98.40
  3. Virginia: 97.66
  4. Wyoming: 93.45
  5. Nebraska: 89.63
  6. Colorado: 89.46
  7. Illinois: 87.46
  8. Maryland: 85.66
  9. Florida: 85.12
  10. South Dakota: 84.80
  11. Massachusetts: 83.54
  12. New Jersey: 83.19
  13. North Carolina: 81.75
  14. Texas: 80.20
  15. Washington: 76.00
  16. New Mexico: 75.36
  17. Montana: 74.54
  18. Delaware: 74.36
  19. Pennsylvania: 72.74
  20. Georgia: 72.02
  21. Oregon: 71.12
  22. Tennessee: 70.60
  23. California: 68.96
  24. Alabama: 68.43
  25. Arizona: 67.52
  26. Indiana: 67.47
  27. Iowa: 67.39
  28. Nevada: 66.62
  29. Utah: 66.47
  30. Kansas: 62.69
  31. Louisiana: 62.59
  32. New Hampshire: 59.28
  33. Oklahoma: 58.50
  34. Connecticut: 57.34
  35. South Carolina: 54.44
  36. Arkansas: 51.84
  37. Rhode Island: 51.69
  38. Minnesota: 50.98
  39. Missouri: 49.94
  40. Ohio: 47.93
  41. Mississippi: 45.90
  42. Kentucky: 40.34
  43. Michigan: 39.66
  44. Wisconsin: 35.38
  45. Idaho: 18.34
  46. Maine: 16.01
  47. West Virginia: 6.16
  48. Vermont: 4.24

The percentage of people working from home across the US 

Research from the United States Census Bureau reveals huge discrepancies in how teams are working in the US, revealing that some states are home to a far higher proportion of remote workers than others.

One of the top states for remote working proved to be the District of Columbia, where an estimated 86.50% of workers login from home. Of these workers, a slightly higher proportion are female. In the District of Columbia, 88.20% of female workers work from home, with 84.70% of male employees doing the same. 

Alaska is another state with a high proportion of the workforce working remotely. In Alaska, an estimated 70% of the workforce work from home. The split across male and female workers is markedly similar to that of the District of Columbia, with 71.40% of female workers and 68.90% of male workers working in their place of residence. 

How do internet speeds differ across the country? 

The speed of internet connections differ considerably across the US, with some states offering far better connectivity than others. Of course, speed is another vital factor in improving accessibility for remote workers; it really can make or break remote working arrangements. 

Oplink.net’s study shows that the state offering the best speed, on average, is Delaware. Other states providing good internet speeds include Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

Vast numbers of professionals now choose to work from home either full or part-time, with increasing numbers of businesses beginning to benefit from more flexible policies.

The pandemic certainly accelerated this trend, but it’s now safe to say that this is a shift that’s here to stay, even as the world relaxes its social distancing policies. And with states across the US now providing lightning fast internet at affordable rates, there’s no reason not to explore the opportunities that remote work provides to employees and businesses alike. 

If you’d like to find out more about how to make the most of your capabilities, get in touch with the team at Oplink.net. Oplink.net is a premium hosting company located in the Houston Metropolitan area, which has been providing competitively priced, premium services since 1999. Contact Oplink to find out more. 

* Hawaii and Alaska were excluded from the research due to lack of available data

Spread the word: