The 2009 Speed Matters survey ranks Delaware the fastest state for internet service with an average download speed of 9.9 mbps, up from 8.7 mbps and second place the previous year. Its top position is confirmed by an Akami survey in August 2009, which rated its average connection speed at 7.2 mbps and with 97% of broadband connections above 2 mbps. The state's high speed ranking is largely put down to its relative size and population density making it comparatively easy for an internet provider to offer a comprehensive service.
The state is relatively well served with internet providers, especially in the large towns, with ISPs such as Verizon and Comcast offering DSL and fiber optic cable services. Verizon introduced two FiOS broadband internet services to Delaware in 2007, with download speeds up to 15 mbps and 30 mbps promised. Wireless internet access is concentrated on the main urban areas, with wifi hotspots confined to areas mainly in the more industrial north.
In common with other states, Delaware was awarded NTIA funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in December 2009. The initial grant of $1.1 million will be used by the Delaware Department of Technology and Information for data collection and mapping while a further $470,000 is for broadband service planning.
Since most of Delaware is on the Atlantic Costal Plain, the effects of the ocean give it either a sub-tropical or continental climate. It is the second smallest state, has the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation and its northern boundary is the only nominally circular state boundary in the US. The southern part of the state is mainly agricultural while the northern areas are more industrialized.
Delaware's economic development is clearly linked to the Du Pont family, who founded one of the world's largest chemical companies. The state also has one of the largest Air Force bases in the country. Due to its business friendly corporation laws and its ranking as the first tax haven in the world, over 50% of US publicly traded corporations and over 60% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in the state, which has enjoyed rapid growth recently. The largest city is Wilmington, followed by the state capital of Denver, then Newark and Pike Creek.
Cities in Delaware likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Delaware City, Dover, Harrington, Lewes, Milford, Newark, New Castle, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford and Wilmington. Locations in DE with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.