Each quarter Akamai Networks publishes its “State of Internet Report” (SOI), providing data gathered from its globally distributed Intelligent Platform about attack traffic, broadband adoption, and mobile connectivity. Countries included in the report are those that had more than 25,000 unique IPv4 addresses that requested content from Akamai during the quarter. During 1Q16 – 146 countries qualified for inclusion.
For broadband speed related data – the report offers statistics in the following areas: average connection speed and average peak connection speeds (speeds that users can likely expect from their Internet connection). It also offers insight into adoption levels at different broadband thresholds: 4 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 15 Mbps and 25 Mbps.
Report Illustrates that National Broadband Plans are working
During 1Q16, the average connection speed was 6.3 Mbps, up 12% from 4Q15 and 23% year-over-year. South Korea continues to rank the highest with 29 Mbps and was in fact the only country with an average connection speed above 25 Mbps. Of the top 10 countries – 3 were in Asia-Pacific and 7 were in EMEA.
Yemen and Libya had the lowest average connection speeds at 0.9 Mbps and 0.7 Mbps, respectively.
For average peak connection speeds – the global average was 34.7 Mbps, up 7% from the previous quarter and 14% YoY. Singapore ranked the highest with 146.9 Mbps.
4 Mbps Adoption
Globally, 116 countries qualified for inclusion in this category. According to the report, 73% of total fixed broadband lines had speeds greater than 4 Mbps. All of the top 10 countries had greater than 95% of fixed broadband above 4 Mbps
10 Mbps Adoption
Globally, 82 countries qualified for inclusion in this category. According to the report, 35% of total fixed broadband lines had speeds greater than 10 Mbps – a 10% increased from4Q15 and 34% YoY. All of the top 10 countries had greater than 65% of fixed broadband above 10 Mbps
15 Mbps Adoption
Globally, 68 countries qualified for inclusion in this category. According to the report, 21% of total fixed broadband lines had speeds greater than 15 Mbps – a 14% increased from 4Q15 and 58% YoY. All of the top 10 countries had greater than 41% of fixed broadband above 15 Mbps
25 Mbps Adoption
Globally, 50 countries qualified for inclusion in this category. According to the report, 8.5% of total fixed broadband lines had speeds greater than 25 Mbps – a 19% increased from 4Q15 and 86% YoY.
It is unsurprising that some countries within the Asia Pacific region – which has been the leader in FTTH deployments – support the fastest average connection speeds. But what is equally surprising are countries such as China – which has experienced explosive growth in FTTH over the past 4 years- still has average connection speeds of 4.3 Mbps – indicating that operators are clearly not leveraging the advantages of FTTH.
Europe on the other hand (both Western and Eastern) illustrates almost continent wide fast speeds – likely driven by the EU’s Digital Agenda for Europe which set goals for increasing broadband speed and adoption across the EU. France, however, with its strong competitive environment and commitment to FTTH, has some of the slowest average speeds at 9.9 Mbps and only 14% of its fixed broadband connections are above 15 Mbps.
Another region that does not seem to fully leverage its FTTH infrastructure is the Middle East. Countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia which have set aggressive agendas for FTTH – display surprisingly low average connection speeds. In fact, Saudi Arabia has less than 1 percent of its subscribers above 15Mbps.
Within the CALA region, Chile has the highest average speeds of 7.3Mbps – while Brasil with its highly competitive environment, has average speeds of 5.3Mbps.
The U.S. and Canada fall pretty much in the middle on a global view, with average connections speeds at 15.3 Mpbs and 14.3 Mbps, respectively. Additionally, 35% of U.S. connections and 32% of Canada connections were above 15 Mbps.
For a state perspective in the U.S. – DC had the highest average speed at 24 Mbps, but all states had average connections above 10Mbps.
(Note to Akamai: last time I checked – the District of Columbia is not a state)
Despite the widespread momentum of FTTH and gigabit broadband across the globe – it is clear by the data presented by Akamai – that the number of actually subscribers to these networks remain relatively low and that despite the availability of superfast speeds – many subscribers either apparently do not have access to them or simply to not subscribe to them.
Within the U.S. – which has seen a gigabit explosion – the states with the fastest speeds – remain those served by Verizon’s FiOS and confirming the fact that it will take considerable time for the newer gigabit networks to have an overall impact on average speeds in the U.S.