Forbes Names Raleigh Most Wired City in America

Forbes Names Raleigh Most Wired City in America

March, 03, 2010, by Jedidiah

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Forbes magazine has named Raleigh the most wired city in America. The capital city ranked #3 in Broadband Adoption, #9 in Access Options and #10 in WIfi Hotspots but still moved up from last year’s ranking of #15 to claim the top spot. The study cited several factors like Sprint’s choice to bring their 4G network to the Triangle before other larger metropolises, several tech powerhouses like Cisco and IBM having large offices here, and the “combination of a highly educated and relatively higher-income population is “fertile ground” for high broadband demand and usage”.

Considering the fact that social media sites like Tri-Out, the city’s adoption of free wifi in downtown, and information based events like Ignite Raleigh and Pecha Kucha gaining following in the area, it is no wonder Raleigh finished this high on the list. The study also states that 71% of residents are connected to high-speed broadband which is quite an amazing number.

See the full list and more information here.

Raleigh is the kind of tech-forward city that, innovative as it is, often gets overlooked in favor of San Francisco, San Jose or Seattle. But this year the North Carolina capital passed its flashier rivals to grab the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ Most Wired Cities list.

Raleigh’s win means it ranks higher overall than any other U.S. city in three measures: broadband penetration, broadband access and plentiful wi-fi hot spots. Taken together, the factors point to a populace that readily uses high-speed Internet inside and outside the home.

At stake is more than just bragging rights. As the U.S. formulates a national broadband plan designed to connect the entire country to fast, affordable Internet, Raleigh and other top-ranking Wired Cities could serve as models for change.

Though a surprise winner, Raleigh boasts plenty of technology assets, including a high concentration of info-tech companies, research universities and state government offices.


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  • Andrew
    03/03 11:27 AM

    So is Raleigh really the most wired city or was it just named so because it’s the largest city in the Triangle?  As you mentioned above, companies like Cisco and IBM were cited.  But those are in RTP, not Raleigh.  Duke and UNC were also cited, and both are located outside of Raleigh.

    Raleigh may have something else to pat itself on the back about, but it seems that it’s with the help of a lot of assets that aren’t actually in Raleigh.

  • matt w
    03/03 11:30 AM

    News flash to residents of Raleigh: To anyone that doesn’t live here, the Triangle == Raleigh.  Embrace it.

  • T-Plain
    03/03 11:52 AM

    Looks like that late push by the DRA’s “There Can Be Only One” Bus Tracker is what did it. Where do we hang the banner?

  • jbee
    03/03 01:34 PM

    Just yesterday I was thinking about how disappointing my internet connection was performing, so this is a surprise to me.

  • TonyB
    03/03 02:53 PM


    Yes, you are correct. To people in Raleigh, the Triangle equals Raleigh. To people in Durham or Chapel Hill, they are pretty proud, and rightly so, of the personalities their cities have created on their own.

  • Bill M
    03/03 05:16 PM

    Lighten up folks.  Eventually Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill will grow together to form one large metropolis, called Raleigh.

  • TacoTodd
    03/03 06:41 PM

    Yeah, we’ve finally dropped the maiden name.

  • David
    03/03 08:02 PM

    Most of the people who work at those companies live in Raleigh. Plus the big thing that impacted the decision was the free downtown hotspots.

  • bcb
    03/03 09:48 PM

    David—I dont know what you are basing your claim that most of those people live in Raleigh.  I would be willing to bet that most live in Morrisville and Cary.

  • alton
    03/03 10:17 PM

    I haven’t lived here long but Cary and Morrisville are really just Raleigh suburbs.  Right?

  • Josh
    03/04 03:19 PM

    Raleigh may be the most wired city, but good luck finding broadband with anything over 512k up.

  • jonn
    03/04 10:44 PM

    Raleigh is a large part of the triangle, however Raleigh does not equal the triangle. I for one live in Durham and only find the need/desire to go to Raleigh once every few months. That’s not meant as a put-down at all…it’s just that not everyone’s life is Raleigh-focused.

    And i think if anything Morrisville has expanded to the size it is now because of RTP and Cary.

  • Bobby
    03/08 11:15 AM

    The Triangle is a fairly wired city (downtown WiFi rocks!), but looking at the way they measured “wired” it’s fairly obvious that we took the #1 spot because of RTP and the area universities.

    It’s not to say the cities themselves aren’t doing a good job, just that without RTP and the universities the Triangle would be pretty far down the list.

  • Jerry
    05/07 01:31 AM

    This can’t be true. I’ve had the slowest internet connection in Raleigh. Also the broadband Internet is more expensive than many other major cities I’ve seen so far.

  • gd
    05/07 09:08 AM

    my friend had a real slow internet connection until he bought a new router - problem solved.

    02/06 06:55 PM

    Given we are talking about Raleigh and the internet, I thought I would share a few stats.  I am a market researcher in the RTP area so I have experience that you all might appreicate. 

    Did you know? North Carolina EDIS data shows more than 500,000 workers in the Raleigh-Durham area have an annual salary of greater than $50,000. The demographic accounts for the very majority of purchases. Greater than 95% of these same people use the internet as a means of research. In Raleigh-Durham, internet marketing has become a necessary means of advertising your brand.

    Since 2000, the Raleigh-Durham area has grown in size by more than 40%. The area is expected to continue to grow another 35% in the next ten years. In order to take advantage of this growing market, you have to reach consumers throughout the entire metropolitan area. A high ranking website for the Raleigh Durham area is key for small businesses.  Combine Raleigh Durham internet marketing with the amount of tech workers in the area…and everyone’s plugged in.  More stats at

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