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The Internet is getting faster

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ZD Net

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

August 9, 2012



The Internet is getting faster throughout the world, but is it getting faster fast enough? (Image copyright Akamai)


The good news, according to Akamai, a high-performance Web and analytics company, is that “the global average connection speed experienced a 14% quarter-over-quarter increase in the first three months of 2012, returning to 2.6 Mbps (Megabits per second).” The bad news is we want much faster connections than we're getting.


Akamai, in its The State of the Internet, 1st Quarter 2012 report (PDF link, registration required.), now defines “high broadband” as connections to Akamai at speeds of 10 Mbps or greater. In the past, the company defined “narrowband” as connections to Akamai at speeds of 256 Kbps (Kilobits per second) or below, but as connection speeds continue to increase globally, especially in countries with developing infrastructure, the number of connections that Akamai sees at these levels continues to decline so Akamai will no longer be reporting on narrowband adoption.


With those specifications, Akamai found that with a few exceptions, such as South Korea, the last mile of Internet was getting faster throughout the world. Even with its decline though, South Korea with an average speed of 15.7Mbps still easily won the gold for the fastest Internet in the world. The United States, with an average speed of 6.7Mbps came in 12th.


The company also reported that “Long term trends were once again very positive, reflecting a continuing shift toward higher speed connectivity. All of the top 10 countries, as well as the United States, experienced positive year-over-year changes in average connection speeds."


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