Asia leads in Internet speed and disruption

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Asia-Pacific 4th quarter 2012

Asian countries hit the top of the charts in the latest “State of the Internet” rankings released by content delivery network pioneer Akamai. The numbers for the last quarter of 2012 rank Korea, Japan and Hong Kong 1-2-3 in terms of average broadband download speed, with scores of 14.0, 10.8 and 9.3 Mbps respectively.

Before the hand-wringing over the U.S. not being number one starts, consider that 1. it does pretty well coming in at eighth place with average broadband download rate of 7.4 Mbps and 2. you get a hell of lot more households per fiber mile in the top three than you do in the wide open spaces of America. Singapore has the same kind of high density housing blocks, by the way, and it only ranks 26th with an average connection speed of 5.5 Mbps.

China is a world champion too. It’s the number one source of Internet attacks in the world, by a huge margin. Forty-one percent of the attacks captured by Akamai originated in China, a number that climbed about 8% since the last report. The U.S. is still in second place with 10% of Internet attacks, down from 13%. India made the top ten attack list, accounting for 2.3% of the world’s total.

China and India don’t do so well in terms of widespread Internet access speeds, though, ranking 91st and 116th with 1.8 and 1.2 Mbps average broadband download speeds respectively. Australia and New Zealand came in 41st and 42nd at 4.2 and 4.0 Mbps.

Caveats abound. Akamai is focused on the traffic that runs through its CDN and it excludes what it defines as narrowband traffic – connections less than 256 Kbps. But taken as a whole, it’s a fair comparison of the speeds most people across the world who subscribe to broadband service actually get. And almost universally, speeds continue to climb.

About Steve Blum

Steve Blum is president of Tellus Venture Associates, a management, planning and business development consultancy for municipal and community broadband initiatives. He is a 30-year industry veteran and an expert in developing new broadband infrastructure and services, including wireless, fiber optic and satellite systems. His career includes playing key roles in the launch and growth of DirecTv in the U.S., as well as other satellite broadcasting platforms around the world. For the past ten years, he has helped build municipal wireless and fiber optic broadband systems. His client list includes many California cities, such as San Leandro, Palo Alto, Oakland, Los Angeles, Lompoc and Folsom. He’s a member of the executive team for the Central Coast Broadband Consortium and has worked with other regional consortia in California. Steve is the author of seven books on the Internet and satellite broadcasting and is a frequent contributor to professional journals and industry events. He holds an A.B. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in East Asia Studies from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. He is a triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher, and is currently ranked in the top 100 of the Challenge Triathlon world rankings, out of more than 30,000 athletes.