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Latvia? Really?

April 25, 2013


Today’s chart shows the 10 countries with the highest average internet connection speeds as measured by Akamai.

Akamai published its quarterly “State of the Internet“ report this week. The report examines the current state of IP security, connection speeds and internet penetration at a global scale. 

For some time now, South Korea has boasted the highest average internet connection speed in the world. In the fourth quarter of 2012, South Korean internet users surfed at an average speed of 14 Mbps, nearly twice as fast as Americans whose connection speed averaged at 7.4 Mbps. To add a little perspective: at 7.4 Mbps, it takes roughly an hour to download a 2-hour movie in HD quality (file size 3GB-4GB).

The United States places 8th in the global speed ranking that is topped by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, who are followed by the European nations of Latvia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Will the competitive edge technologically shift continue to shift to the emerging countries? Will the cost of replacing legacy investments in older infrastructure prevent the first world countries from maintaining their current edge? 

The global average connection speed in Q4 2012 was 2.9 Mbps, up 25 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011.

In many countries, internet connections are now fast enough to enable users to stream HD video content, which has led to the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and to a vast increase of global IP traffic. A recent Cisco study predicts global traffic to more than double between 2012 and 2015, with video content accounting for more than 50 percent of the worldwide total.




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