Global Average Connection Speed on the Internet up by 25 Percent

The Internet keeps on getting faster.

The First Quarter, 2012 State of the Internet report from content delivery network vendor Akamai is once again showing acceleration in Internet access speeds around the world.

The Global average connection speed for the first quarter of 2012 hit 2.6 Mbps, which is a 25 percent year-over-year gain, and a 14 percent gain over the fourth quarter of 2011. As has been the case since the inception of the State of the Internet reports, South Korea leads the world with the highest average speed, coming in at 15.7 Mbps, which is a 9.4 percent year over year gain.

The U.S. took the number 12 spot with an average connection speed of 6.7 Mbps, which is a 29 percent gain on a yearly basis.

When measured in terms of average peak connection speed, Hong Kong came in first at 49.3 Mbps, edging out akamai state of the internet 1q12South Korea which came in second at 47.8 Mbps. The U.S. came in the eighth spot at an average peak speak of 28.7 Mbps, which is a 39 percent year over year gain. Overall, as is the case with global average speeds, the global peak speed also edged higher in first quarter up to 13.5 Mbps, also a 25 percent year over year gain.

Akamai also detailed adoption for what it now refers to as High-Broadband connectivity with connection speeds of 10 Mbps or higher. Globally, 10 percent of all connections that Akamai sees are in the high broadband category this quarter, a 54 percent jump over the first quarter of 2011. South Korea leads the world in terms of high broadband connections at 53 percent. In the U.S.  high broadband only accounts for 15 percent of all connections, though it’s a number that is growing fast. High broadband adoption in the first quarter of 2012 in the U.S. was 95 percent higher than the first quarter of 2011.

What is the Fastest City? 

For the first time in years, Akamai in the first quarter 2012 report did not include specific metrics for cities. In the fourth quarter 2011 State of the Internet report, Akamai found that Boston was the fastest city in the U.S at 8.4 Mbps. As to why Akamai no longer details city data, apparently it’s just to much work for them to compile.

“The report will also no longer include city-level data due to the level of manual effort required to review the data,” Akamai report author David Belson wrote.

Another metric that Akamai is no longer reporting on is the level of narrowband adoption.

“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,” Belson wrote. “As such, we have decided to remove narrowband adoption statistics from the report going forward.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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