Global Broadband: Issues in Speed
The race for speediest access to the internet is a global contest to be sure. National broadband plans have been implemented in country after country to improve broadband speed as well as, of course, broadband access. With South Korea again topping Akamai’s second quarter State of the Internet Report in fall of 2012, other countries are assessing their own place on the charts and coming to terms with what their broadband speed means to their country beyond mere rankings.
Who is Akamai?
With its headquarters located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Akamai is an internet content delivery network. Each quarter, the company publishes its report concerning broadband adoption, mobile usage, and connection speed at the global level. Moreover, its detailed findings also rank U.S. states according to various platforms such as broadband adoption and trends in the data. The report frequently makes headlines and has become an important industry resource for this significant captured data that affects internet users around the world.
Rank and File
South Korea boasts the fastest connection speeds in the world. To the average broadband user in a South Korean high rise, this means his or her pages load quickest and information and data is transmitted fastest. Their first rate score of 14.2 Mbps is several points ahead of Japan who sits in the number two spot with a score of 10.7 Mbps. This past quarter reflects an Asian trifecta as Hong Kong achieves the third fastest connection speed in the world. The United States earned the ninth fastest speed following the nations of Latvia (fourth), Switzerland (fifth), Netherlands (sixth), Czech Republic (seventh), and Denmark (eighth). Other interesting ranks include Russia (thirty) and the United Kingdom (eighteenth).
The slowest times are a bit more relative as some nations simply don’t enjoy significant broadband access let alone have access quickly. However, there are some surprising finds reflected by reports such as this. For example, with their immense population and large numbers of citizens requesting more broadband initiatives, both India and China rank low in terms of connection speed. China sits in the ninety-seventh slot while India ranks in at 116; however, even these slow pokes have shown a marked desire to pick up the pace.
What Does Rank Suggest?
Collectively, the various ranks show a marked increase in internet speeds worldwide. Fast connectivity is simply part of the larger picture that demonstrates how greater adoption of high broadband is making a difference in the world—even in poor nations where connection to the internet is vital for economic and educational advances to name a mere few. Countries that are implementing strategic plans to implement high broadband (faster than broadband) understand that connecting quickly benefits more than just one person checking their email; it benefits healthcare providers and their patients, universities and their students, and businesses and their clients. A successful rank merely indicates if a nation’s broadband initiatives are demonstrating improvement and growth. If they are, the nation may well be on its way to using the internet to improve its overall prosperity.
Since Akamai releases its report quarterly, it’s easy to chart progress as well as declines. Broadband adoption rates and speeds have proved to be rather dynamic statistics. As nations like Singapore make plans to develop sophisticated platforms for better broadband, it remains to be seen if South Korea will remain the fastest for much longer. On the other hand, they’re happy with this rank and likely won’t relinquish it easily.