Forbes: Raleigh 'most wired'

Posted March 3, 2010 9:07 a.m. EST

Raleigh topped Forbes magazine's annual list of Most Wired Cities.

The list, released Tuesday, is based on three measures – broadband penetration, broadband access and Wi-Fi hot spots. Taken together, the factors point to locales where residents readily use high-speed Internet inside and outside the home.

The Raleigh metro area, which includes Cary, has a broadband penetration of 71 percent, according to Forbes. It also has 17 broadband providers and 7,024 residents per Wi-Fi hot spot.

The presence of tech companies like Cisco Systems Inc., IBM Corp., Lenovo and Red Hat Inc., as well as area universities, create "fertile ground" for high broadband demand and usage, Forbes says. The magazine also notes that Sprint Nextel offers a 4G mobile broadband network in downtown Raleigh, while larger cities like Boston and New York operate slower-speed networks.

"We're very lucky to be at the epicenter of a lot of market strengths for these different companies," Brooks Raiford, head of the North Carolina Technology Association, told Forbes.

Atlanta finished second on the Most Wired Cities list, followed by Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The Charlotte metro area was ranked 16th on the list.