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Are you ready for 4K TV? Akamai shares which countries are good to go.

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The rise of 4K television has prompted Akamai to create a list of nations that have sustained average broadband speeds of 15 Mbps needed to deliver current streams of 4K television content. Akamai calls these nations “4K ready,” and sadly, the U.S. doesn’t rank in the top 10, according to the first quarter data from Akamai’s 2014 State of the Internet Report. Only 17 percent of the U.S. is 4K ready, according to Akamai’s broadband measurement, putting the country at 13 in the global rankings.

Overall, only 47 countries qualified for inclusion in Akamai’s metric, which doesn’t actually take into account the amount of 4K content available in the region. Of those, almost half of the countries had 4K readiness rates above 10 percent, while the lowest readiness rates in terms of the percentage of connections that were above 15 Mbps were found in India (.3 percent) and China (.2 percent).


Unsurprisingly the top 10 countries that are 4K ready match up pretty closely to the countries with the highest average broadband speeds. Seven of the 10 countries on that list are the same.


Globally broadband boosters also got good news. For the first time in Akamai’s seven years of doing these reports one in five broadband subscribers worldwide had speeds of more than 10 Mbps. And in many places those speeds are increasing.


When it comes to broadband in the U.S. some states are doing pretty well with the lowest average speeds found in Alaska at 7 Mbps on average. However, as a nation, we’re not in the top 10 globally (we’re ranked 12th) based on our peak speeds. Yet more than a third of the population of broadband subscribers does have what Akamai considers “high broadband” speeds of greater than 10.5 Mbps. In fact the U.S. average broadband speeds are 10.5 Mbps, far below South Korea’s average speeds of 23.6 Mbps.


Other interesting facts worth noting from the report are:

  • Google Fiber appears to be having an effect on Kansas broadband speeds — the state saw a year-over-year jump of 97 percent improvement of its speeds to 34.4 Mbps — the largest jump in the country.
  • China is by far home to the most online attacks with 41 percent of attacks originating from the country, followed by the U.S. as a distant second originating 11 percent of the attacks.
  • If you’re searching for the fastest peak mobile broadband speeds, head to the Outback. Australia’s mobile peak speeds reach 114.2 Mbps. The slowest peak mobile broadband speeds are found in Iran at 5 Mbps.
  • Want the country with the most consistently fast mobile broadband speeds? Visit Ukraine where 89 percent of mobile subscribers get greater than 4 Mbps. The U.S. only has a third of its mobile subscribers getting speeds of greater than 4 Mbps.
  • The global average connection speed continued is now 3.9 Mbps.

Updated: This article was updated at 10:37 am to correct the US rankings for 4K readiness. It is ranked 13 globally, not 17.

8 Responses to “Are you ready for 4K TV? Akamai shares which countries are good to go.”

  1. This isn’t a correct interpretation of Akamai’s Average Connection Speed measurement. ACS does not measure the average speed of the *pipe*, it measures average *TCP stream speed*. This is important.

    Since most of Akamai’s measurements are taken while people are downloading web pages, ACS actually represents about a quarter of the pipe’s capacity because browsers download from 4 – 8 TCP streams in parallel. If you want to know how fat the pipes are, you have to look at the Average Peak Connection Speed, which takes the fastest TCP-level stream seen on each IP address and averages it with the top rate seen on all other IP addresses. The ratio of ACS to APCS is about 1:4 in the Akamai data base. Some bloggers – Cyrus Farivar for example – mistakenly believe ACS is a full pipe measurement that deviates from ACPS because of network congestion, but this is not the truth. Akamai will be glad to confirm what I’m saying here, or you can look at the FCC’s SamKnows figures, which don’t show the kind of massive fluctuations in pipe capacity that Farivar imagines.

    There is no reasonable scenario in which a pipe needs to have 15mbps x 4 Mbps to stream 4K video to one screen. Netflix running over Google Fiber in KC averages 3.5 Mbps, so quadrupling to 4K resolution that only gets you to 14 Mbps, and we can be sure that Netflix isn’t going quadruple the capacity of their CDN to accommodate 4K any time soon. It’s more likely that they’ll over-compress it as they do HD today in order to limit the number of CPUs, motherboards, and SSDs they have to pay for.

    In any event, 4K will come to cable TV before it comes to the Internet for efficiency reasons; multicast video is millions of times less bandwidth hungry than on-demand TV.

  2. cyberworldone

    We have ATT broadband internet tun upper end computers getting half the speed at best down, and 15 percent up in this area, there .numerous individuals and business look for a solution. I set owned and set up the internet in this area in 1995. I have been looking for for a solution please contact me if you have an idea or are in need of of someone who is willing to help out even relocate. Contact me here ([email protected])

  3. I want to know how the HELL all these countries are way better off than the USA! I live in rural TX about 10 miles from a small city of 10K and 50 miles from Dallas with millions of people and can get a MAX 2.5Mbit on speedtests with fixed wireless, the only option. The people rave about this ISP about how great this lackluster speed …sad. What gives??

    • Steve Friedman

      Government spending Joe. Expensive network build programs by governments, not tied to demand or any sensible business case. Their citizens pays for it all through taxes and/or debt whether it’s a good idea or not.
      As for me, i don’t want Washington bureaucrats pandering to a constituency here to there, buying their votes with “free” high speed internet in every far reaching corner of the country…then handing me the tab.

      • Spencer Shanson

        Couldn’t agree more Steve. I don’t want the govt involved either. But when the large incumbent corps gain a monopoly in a local market, and lobbyists pay Washington to ensure that new companies can’t enter the market, then the monopolist can tell the consumer “I don’t care if you want more bandwidth. I don’t want to pay to install the infrastructure and what are you going to do about it?”.

    • MrWibble

      I can plug in my UK address and find a dozen broadband providers. Here in the US, I have a “choice” of one. Yay for the free market!

    • These other countries aren’t way better off than the US. Akamai ranks the US 7th in “High Speed Broadband Connectivity (>10 Mbps ACS), and the gaps between the US and the the top 10 in ACS are minimal; our ACS is 10.5 Mbps, not significantly different from anybody but Japan and the city-states Hong Kong and Korea.

      Latvia is a former Soviet satellite that never had cable and simply jumped from DSL to fiber. Very few people in Latvia actually use the Internet – it has less than 2 million people – so wiring them all up is about as hard as wiring Kansas City.