Newcastle said to have lowest average internet speed in the country

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NEWCASTLE, Calif. (KTXL) -- Newcastle and its 1,200 residents don't aspire to be a center of web-based connectivity or telecommuting, but those designations are out of reach in any case after being rated as the community with the slowest average internet connection in the country by HighSpeedInternet.com.

That's not exactly news to Cheyenne Owens, who must ask her housemates to turn off their phone Wi-Fi and other computer connections when she wants to stream a movie in high definition online.

"It's been difficult. Sometimes I think it doesn't work at all," Owens told FOX40.

The town's average connection speed is 3.7 megabits per second, which is plenty for basic email and standard-definition video streaming. But complex gaming is out and downloading a high-definition movie can take nearly three hours.

The Federal Communications Commission recommends 10 to 25 Mbps speeds for household use.

The town's small business district does have high-speed service but that service doesn't extend to many homeowners, at least those who can't afford it.

Ingrid God, the owner of Merry-Go-Round Merchandise antiques, uses her laptop to research prices.

"I was going crazy with the slow speeds before," Gold said.

But fellow antique store owner Jim Anderson of Anderson's Cool Junk said he stopped using the internet altogether when AT&T said it was discontinuing service to his shop.

"I'm doing just fine without the internet," Anderson said.

Because he is among the 30% of households in Newcastle that don't subscribe to internet service, service providers may feel that investing in high-speed lines is not economically feasible.

Slow internet has been a concern for Governor Gavin Nesom who suggested that poor internet in rural communities is hampering business development and education.

The slow internet connection is not a game-breaker as far as living in a small, close-knit community for those who feel it's better than no internet at all.

"We're just going to have to suffer," Owens said with a laugh.

To view the full High Speed Internet report, CLICK HERE

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