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Akamai Releases State of Internet Connectivity Report for Q1 2012

Broadband Speed and Adoption Trends are Analyzed


Every quarter Akamai analyzes traffic patterns and the volume of Internet traffic around the world. Their position in the industry as a content provider with a globally deployed network, enables them to be a good gauge of global trends when it comes to broadband penetration. Akamai reports over 666 million unique IP addresses from 238 countries traversed their network during the first quarter of 2012 - providing a treasure trove of information regarding broadband adoption, connection speeds and other data. Akamai notes a 6% overall increase in the number of unique IP address from their previous quarterly report. Some of the most interesting data comes from their analysis of global trends. These are some of the more pertinent findings:

  • Globally, Akamai reports the average connection speed reached nearly 2.6 Mbps
  • The global peak connection speed increased to 13.5 Mbps.
  • South Korea had the highest average connection speed of 15.7 Mbps
  • Hong Kong had the highest average connection speed at 49.3 Mbps

    Read an Article on a Previous Akamai State of the Internet Report

    Akamai defines broadband as connections of more than 4 Mbps, which aligns with the current FCC definition for defining broadband. Akamai is using the term "high broadband" to define connections of 10 Mbps or higher. Using these terms, the following facts pertain to the most recent data published by Akamai:

  • Globally, the adoption of high broadband increased 19% to 10%, with South Korea having the highest "high broadband" adption rate of 53%
  • Global broadband adoption grew 10% to 40% - with Soth Korea also having the highest broadband rate at 86%

    Broadband Speed: How Much Do You Need?

    Akamai will no longer report broadband penetration or speeds at the city level.

    One significant finding in this report is Akamai's estimate of over one billion web users globally. Although the company reports more than 600 million users, they believe this understates the true total because of multiple individual users sharing IP addresses.

    Of the 666 million global users, the top 10 countries listed below represent 66% of the global total.

    • 146 million were from the United States
    • China had 92 million users
    • Japan had 40.5 million users
    • Germany had 36 million users
    • United Kingdom and France had 25 million users
    • South Korea and Brazil had 19 million users
    • Italy had 17 million users
    • Russia had 16 million users
    Almost all of the countries listed experienced positive growth since the last quarter.

    How fast is your broadband connection?

    Overall average global connection speeds was 2.6 Mbps, a 14% increase from the last reported quarter. When reviewing the Akamai report, the state of broadband connectivity in the United States, as it relates to broadband connection speeds, is not keeping pace with the rest of the world. Using the FCC's definition of broadband at 4 Mbps, 40% of users globally are able to access broadband. While the United States has a rate of 60% - higher than the global average, this lags several nations such as South Korea, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland. These are the percentages in the top 10 countries with the highest percentages of connections above the 4 Mbps threshold:

  • Global - 40%
  • South Korea - 86%
  • Netherlands - 83%
  • Switzerland - 77%
  • Belgium - 73%
  • Hong Kong - 72%
  • Japan - 72%
  • Latvia - 68%
  • Canada - 68%
  • Czech Republic - 68%
  • Romania - 63%
  • The United States ranked 14th globally at 60%, with was a 19% increase from the previous year.

    Within the United States, Delaware continues to lead the pack when it comes to speeds. At an average speed of 10.2 Mbps, the speeds experienced in Delaware were 35% higher than the previous year. When analyzing year over year growth, all top ten state experienced notable increases. Nine other states round out a list of the fastest average broadband connections in the country. They are:

  • New Hamphsire - 9.4 Mbps
  • Vermont - 9.1 Mbps
  • District of Columbia - 8.9 Mbps
  • Utah - 8.5 Mbps
  • Rhode Island - 8.5 Mbps
  • Connecticut - 8.4 Mbps
  • Massachusetts = 8.2 Mbps
  • Maryland - 8.1 Mbps
  • Washington - 7.9 Mbps
  • According to the Akamai report:

    "The strong growth seen across both the short and long-term is extremely encouraging, and hopefully bodes well for the continued adoption of high speed Internet connections across the United States throughout 2012. In a January speech at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made the point that the United States needs ubiquitous broadband and universal broadband adoption, which he said means world-class wired and wireless infrastructure. To that end, he also noted that the FCC has removed barriers to wired and wireless broadband buildout. In February, however, a posting on technology industry blog GigaOm noted that some states are working to advance legislation that would restrict community/municipal broadband efforts, which could effectively limit consumer choice to the service tiers and speeds that the incumbent telecom and cable providers have made available to that market, slowing the progress towards ubiquitous broadband and universal broadband adoption."

    The FCC cited statistics in the Akamai "State of the Internet" report from 2009, for their July publication of the "Sixth Broadband Deployment Report." In that report, the FCC stated that 24 million Americans were unserved by broadband. The Akamai report measures high speed broadband access, and doesn't measure availability. The entire Akamai State of the Internet Report is available for download, by registering on the Akamai website.

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