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Top Trends in State Innovation: Internet Speeds, Ridesharing and Drones

Bronwyn Flores, Communications, Coordinator, Consumer Technology Association
Our 2016 Innovation Scorecard is now out.

Our 2016 Innovation Scorecard is now out. The annual innovation policy index measures each state’s openness to innovation, awarding top marks to states that support drone technology, offer fast Internet speeds and enact smart tax policy, among other criteria.
This year, 14 states improved their rankings and five states dropped. Here’s what happened:

Fast(er) Internet
A common thread among states that improved in rank was an increase in average Internet speeds. Excluding the new Innovation Champions, the majority of states that improved their standing did so by speeding up their Internet, either matching or surpassing the national average of approximately 10 Mbps.
Warming up to Ridesharing
The majority of states advanced their grades and ranks this year by enacting pro-ridesharing legislation. In over a year, we saw 25 states – up from two in 2014 – legalize ridesharing.
Steering Drones the Wrong Way
New to the Scorecard this year is the “Drones” category, which addresses the flurry of rules that local, state and federal governments are considering. Overall, 13 states – Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas – were given grades for laws impacting drones.
Few states were awarded high grades for sensible approaches to consumer and commercial drone tech and saw their overall rankings improve as a result. A majority of the graded states dropped in ranks by maintaining or enacting laws that stifle the growth and potential of drone technology.
To read more of CTA’s findings and find out where your state ranks, check out the complete 2016 Innovation Scorecard report.