Tacoma's download speeds rank 48th of 50 state cities

For a place that calls itself "The Wired City," Tacoma's Internet download speeds aren't living up to the hype.

New data from the Seattle Internet speed testing firm Ookla shows the average download speed for Tacoma residential customers is just 9.84 megabits per second. That puts Tacoma 48th among the 50 listed Washington cities in download speeds.

At the top of Ookla’s list is North Bend with average download speeds of 22.24 mbps. Seattle isn’t much better than Tacoma with average speeds of 10.39 mbps, ranking it 46th on Ookla’s list.

The only Washington cities below Tacoma are Ellensburg and Burlington, with speeds of 9.64 mbps and 9.36 mbps respectively.

Tacoma’s relatively poor showing comes in spite of Washington’s good showing as a state in the company’s rolling test. The Evergreen State ranks eighth in the nation with an average download speed of 13.06 mbps.

The slowest downloads are in Alaska – where the average residential Internet connection had a download speed of just 3.79 mbps.

The United States lags considerably behind many countries, ranking 27th on Ookla’s list.

South Korea is the top country with average download speeds of 34.91 mbps. Seoul residents get the fastest urban downloads in the world with an average speed of 34.93 mbps.

Ookla’s speed ratings change frequently as consumers use the company’s free Speedtest to assess their Internet service. As new results come in, those are averaged into the overall figures.

A spokeswoman for Tacoma’s Click speculated that the economy may be playing a role in Tacoma’s showing. The municipally owned cable TV and Internet company said many subscribers in Tacoma either opt for the lowest speed connections or have downgraded to lower-speed Internet. The reason? To save money in tight times.

Higher speeds are available, if subscribers want to pay more, Click spokeswoman Diane Lachel said.