As Internet gets faster, Hong Kong & South Korea lead the broadband speed derby

The internet saw its average peak connection speed jump almost 35 percent at the end of last year, even as more and more people started accessing vital (and trivial) internet services through their mobile devices, according to the latest edition of Akamai’s State of the Internet report for the three months ending December 31, 2012. Akamai calculates the speeds and other data included in the report based on activity on the Akamai network.

Here are some broadband highlights for the fourth quarter of 2012 from Akamai’s official press release

  • Quarter-over-quarter, the global average connection speed rose 5 percent to 2.9 Mbps
  • On a year-over-year basis, average connection speeds grew by 25 percent. South Korea had an average speed of 14 Mbps while Japan came in second with 10.8 Mbps and the U.S. came in the eighth spot with 7.4 Mbps.
  • Year-over-year, global average peak connection speeds once again demonstrated significant improvement, rising 35 percent. Hong Kong came in first with peak speed of 57.5 Mbps while South Korea came in at 49.3 Mbps. The United States came in 13th at 31.5 Mbps.
  • Global broadband adoption rates are closer to 42 percent while high broadband (higher than 10 Mbps) adoption rates are at 11 percent. In South Korea, nearly 49 percent of connections qualify as high-broadband, followed by Japan with 39 percent and the U.S. at 19 percent. South Korea has 86 percent broadband penetration, while the U.S. stands at 64 percent.
  • The average connection speeds on surveyed mobile networks ranged from just over 8.0 Mbps to 345 kbps.
  • Ericsson, which partners with Akamai, said that mobile data traffic doubled from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012. It was up a whopping 28 percent between the third and fourth quarter of 2012.
  • In Europe, Romania lead the charts with a fourth quarter average peak connection speed of 42.6 Mbps, followed by Switzerland with 34.2 Mbps and Belgium at 33.4 Mbps. In comparison, Hong Kong average peak connection clocked in at 57.5 Mbps.
  • About 23 percent of Swiss connections are 10 Mbps or higher, followed by Netherlands which has 21 percent high-broadband adoption rate, just ahead of Sweden with 19 average connection speeds by country

Here is a look at the U.S. broadband scenario.

  • Vermont is the fastest state with average connection speed of 10.8 Mbps, followed by Delaware with 10.6 Mbps.
  • Akamai said that the average peak connection speed increased by 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 43.1 Mbps, with Vermont again topping the charts with 41.4 Mbps.
  • When it comes to high-broadband, nearly 34 percent of broadband connections in New Hampshire are above 10 Mbps, followed by Washington D.C. with 33 percent and New Jersey, also at 33 percent. Thanks to the presence of Verizon FiOS, New Jersey saw a 12 percent quarter over quarter growth in high-broadband connections.
  • In terms of broadband adoption, Delaware is tops with 87 percent of its connections faster than 4 Mbps, followed by New Hampshire (87 percent) and Rhode Island (83 percent.)top average U.S. connection speeds

As you might have noticed: if you are a small country (or a smaller state), you can have really high broadband adoption because it is easier to build out your broadband infrastructure. Of course, it also helps if there are people willing to spend money on this stuff.