The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Idaho Has The Slowest Internet, In Part Because Of A Furry Reason

Originally published on Wed September 14, 2011 5:00 pm

Back in July, Pando Networks, a business focused peer-to-peer network, released the findings of a nationwide study on Internet speeds. It found Idaho has the slowest networks, while Rhode Island, New Jersey and Massachusetts are at the top of the pack.

Now that's not the interesting story. That comes from The New York Times, today, which set out to find why the Internet speeds in Idaho were sluggish.

There are two problems that make sense: It's a sparsely populated state, which means it doesn't make financial sense for networks to lay cable to reach a few households and it also has a grueling terrain.

But there's another problem that boggles the mind: One issue, the paper reports, might be bears:

Barry Ramsay, who owns a small manufacturing company here between two mountains, remembers the day his Internet connection crashed for several hours. Work crews had to ride up in snowmobiles to discover the problem.

"They said that bears had been rubbing against the towers," Mr. Ramsay said. In this mountainous state, where some connections depend on line of sight, even snow and fog can disrupt the signals. "These are the kind of problems you probably don't have in an urban area," he said.

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