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As Internet gets faster, Hong Kong & South Korea lead the broadband speed derby

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The internet saw its average peak connection speed jump almost 35 percent at the end of last year, even as more and more people started accessing vital (and trivial) internet services through their mobile devices, according to the latest edition of Akamai’s State of the Internet report for the three months ending December 31, 2012. Akamai calculates the speeds and other data included in the report based on activity on the Akamai network.

Here are some broadband highlights for the fourth quarter of 2012 from Akamai’s official press release

  • Quarter-over-quarter, the global average connection speed rose 5 percent to 2.9 Mbps
  • On a year-over-year basis, average connection speeds grew by 25 percent. South Korea had an average speed of 14 Mbps while Japan came in second with 10.8 Mbps and the U.S. came in the eighth spot with 7.4 Mbps.
  • Year-over-year, global average peak connection speeds once again demonstrated significant improvement, rising 35 percent. Hong Kong came in first with peak speed of 57.5 Mbps while South Korea came in at 49.3 Mbps. The United States came in 13th at 31.5 Mbps.
  • Global broadband adoption rates are closer to 42 percent while high broadband (higher than 10 Mbps) adoption rates are at 11 percent. In South Korea, nearly 49 percent of connections qualify as high-broadband, followed by Japan with 39 percent and the U.S. at 19 percent. South Korea has 86 percent broadband penetration, while the U.S. stands at 64 percent.
  • The average connection speeds on surveyed mobile networks ranged from just over 8.0 Mbps to 345 kbps.
  • Ericsson, which partners with Akamai, said that mobile data traffic doubled from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012. It was up a whopping 28 percent between the third and fourth quarter of 2012.
  • In Europe, Romania lead the charts with a fourth quarter average peak connection speed of 42.6 Mbps, followed by Switzerland with 34.2 Mbps and Belgium at 33.4 Mbps. In comparison, Hong Kong average peak connection clocked in at 57.5 Mbps.
  • About 23 percent of Swiss connections are 10 Mbps or higher, followed by Netherlands which has 21 percent high-broadband adoption rate, just ahead of Sweden with 19 average connection speeds by country

Here is a look at the U.S. broadband scenario.

  • Vermont is the fastest state with average connection speed of 10.8 Mbps, followed by Delaware with 10.6 Mbps.
  • Akamai said that the average peak connection speed increased by 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 43.1 Mbps, with Vermont again topping the charts with 41.4 Mbps.
  • When it comes to high-broadband, nearly 34 percent of broadband connections in New Hampshire are above 10 Mbps, followed by Washington D.C. with 33 percent and New Jersey, also at 33 percent. Thanks to the presence of Verizon FiOS, New Jersey saw a 12 percent quarter over quarter growth in high-broadband connections.
  • In terms of broadband adoption, Delaware is tops with 87 percent of its connections faster than 4 Mbps, followed by New Hampshire (87 percent) and Rhode Island (83 percent.)top average U.S. connection speeds

As you might have noticed: if you are a small country (or a smaller state), you can have really high broadband adoption because it is easier to build out your broadband infrastructure. Of course, it also helps if there are people willing to spend money on this stuff.

14 Responses to “As Internet gets faster, Hong Kong & South Korea lead the broadband speed derby”

  1. Pryomaniac

    I like in the rural area of New York and since I’m the only house within a mile from here, I have to settle for satellite internet. Not only am I forced to pay $70/month for 1mbps speeds (and only get around 130kbps of it if I’m lucky (currently downloading @ 6kbps)), but my latency on gaming servers have only seen numbers below 1000ms twice. I usually get anywhere around 3000ms-7000ms. I’ve even taken a test on just to find a whopping 10,000ms of ping. Three miles down the road, my boyfriend gets 150ms ping and a high-broadband connection.

  2. Buck65

    i live in arizona. when running my cat 5 from my router in my room to my computer in the dining room i get right at 90 Mbps. when i run the cat 5 from the modem straight to the computer i have hit 196.34 <—- last two numbers just throwin out there cause they don't really matter. but my isp is cox commumications. the internet itself is right above 90 a month. Just to give an example, when i download video games off of steam it downloads at around 16.5 MB/s oh yeah, and is the best site to test your speed, besides my isp has a bandwidth monitor and it is spot on. i was thinkin how dial up was and i remember it was like 2.5 kbps maybe a little more. i converted mine into kbps and it was 96.394 i was like wwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt? was a trip

  3. My “high speed” cable internet provider only offers “up to” 4 Mbps. Right now I’m at 3.3 Mbps which means my download speed is a whopping .4 Mbps. When I am on my laptop using a wireless router my speed drops to less than 2 Mbps.
    That is the mid-range plan. If I pay for the business plan I get “up to” a whole 8 Mbps. That’s the maximum available here, and it’s expensive. How much do you all pay for your fast internet (for your home)? I’m thinking I’m not getting my money’s worth!

  4. senthil

    Abhi , internet speed varies from service provider to service provider. I am living in Chennai and using airtel . Connecting through usb modem i’m getting 5.5 to 6 mbps. Broad band through
    Cable you may get up to 8 mbps.

  5. Richard Bennett

    A few points need clarifying.

    1. The US improved from 14th to 13th in “average peak connection speed” which is best measure of network capacity per Akamai.

    2. The US remains in 8th place in “average connection speed” which Akamai says is affected by IP address sharing and by browser concurrency. The more people use Chrome and Firefox, the lower this number gets.

    3. Akamai doesn’t measure adoption per se; they measure the proportion of IP addresses that get >4 Mbps (they call this “broadband”) and they measure the proportion that get >10 Mbps (“high broadband”). Unfortunately, they have no way of knowing what percentage of a nation’s population is unconnected or using dialup.

    Dave Belson wrote a nice blog post explaining what these numbers mean as there has been a great deal of confusion over them: He’s in charge of the SOTI report.

  6. Jr Namida

    In Las Vegas, and i am jealous. I pay for 50 Mbps and get 15-18Mbps day time, & only approach 30 Mbps after midnight.

    Running a mini Linux in a quad desktop system with 2 Gigabit Ethernet card, Gigabit router, and a SB6180 with new software.

    I would think we would be a good city for google, but guess Utah needs the speed increases more than us, when we have a much larger event schedule that could help pay google for installing a 1 gig system for residential customers.