Akamai: Global Average Connection Speed Up 23 Percent

CAMBRIDGE, MA — Global average connection speed increased 8.6 percent to 5.6 Mbps from the third quarter, a 23 percent increase year-over-year, according to Akamai Technologies' newly released Fourth Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet Report. Akamai, a provider of content delivery network (CDN) services, gathered its data from its Akamai Intelligent Platform. The report provides insight into key global statistics such as connection speeds, broadband adoption metrics, notable Internet disruptions, IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.

“This quarter’s report shows great year-over-year growth in average connection speeds and overall broadband adoption,” noted David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report. “This is particularly important as consumer expectations rise and many high-profile events, like the summer games in Rio, will be streamed this year. The progress we’re seeing across our key metrics shows that, while there’s still work to be done, more parts of the world are increasingly able to support the delivery of broadcast-quality video content online.”

Highlights from Akamai’s Fourth Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet Report:

Global Average Connection Speeds and Global Broadband Connectivity

  • Global average connection speed increased 8.6 percent to 5.6 Mbps from the third quarter, a 23 percent increase year-over-year.

  • South Korea had the top average connection speed at 26.7 Mbps, posting a 20% increase over the fourth quarter of 2014.

  • After a slight decline in the third quarter, the global average peak connection speed bounced back with a 1% increase to 32.5 Mbps in the fourth quarter. This led to 21 percent year-over-year growth.

  • South Korea (95.3 Mbps) and Macao (83.1 Mbps) were the only country/regions to post double-digit quarterly gains in average peak connection speed at 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

  • Globally, 7.1 percent of unique IP addresses connected to Akamai at average speeds of at least 25 Mbps, a dramatic 37 percent increase over the previous quarter. Year-over-year, global 25 Mbps adoption increased by 74 percent, in contrast to the 15 percent yearly decrease seen in the third quarter.

  • Each of the top 10 countries/regions saw double-digit growth in 25 Mbps broadband adoption except for Hong Kong (15 percent), which posted a 9.8 percent change quarter-over-quarter. Norway (21 percent) and Denmark (15 percent) saw the greatest yearly gains at 165 percent and 188 percent, respectively.

  • In the U.S., ten states had 14 percent or more of unique IP addresses connected to Akamai at average speeds of at least 25 Mbps, with the District of Columbia holding the top spot at 25 percent adoption, a 15 percent quarter-over-quarter growth.

  • The global percentage of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai that met the 4 Mbps broadband speed threshold increased 5.8 percent to 69 percent. Year-over-year growth was 17 percent.

  • In the fourth quarter of 2015, 32 percent of unique IP addresses across the world connected to Akamai at average speeds above 10 Mbps, an increase of 15 percent over the previous quarter. Year-over-year, this was a 34 percent increase.

  • 19 percent percent of unique global IP addresses connected to Akamai at average “4K-ready” connection speeds of 15 Mbps or above, up from 15 percent in the third quarter. Year-over-year, the global 15 Mbps adoption rate grew 54 percent with nine of the top 10 countries/regions seeing gains ranging from 3.3 percent in South Korea (63 percent adoption) to 102 percent in Norway (45 percent adoption).


IPv4 and IPv6

  • The number of unique, worldwide IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai had a slight increase of 0.2 percent to just over 810 million addresses.

  • On a global basis, close to 70 percent of the countries/regions saw a quarter-over-quarter increase in unique IPv4 address counts in the fourth quarter, up 10 percent from the third quarter.

  • 43 countries/regions saw IPv4 address counts grow 10 percent or more, while 13 saw counts decline 10 percent or more as compared with the previous quarter.

  • Belgium again maintained a clear lead, with 37 percent of content requests being made over IPv6, up from 35 percent in the third quarter. France (11 percent) posted the largest quarter-over-quarter gain with 113 percent.

  • Verizon Wireless (67 percent) and Belgium’s Telenet (53 percent) continued to lead as the two network providers with more than half of their requests to Akamai made over IPv6.

  • Similar to last quarter, nine of the top 20 providers had at least one in four content requests to Akamai via IPv6. However, 18 of the top 20 – down from 20 in the previous quarter – had at least 10 percent of their requests to Akamai occur over IPv6.


Mobile Connectivity

  • United Kingdom had the fastest average mobile connection speed at 26.8 Mbps, with Spain in second place at 14.0 Mbps.

  • Iran had the lowest average connection speed, at 1.3 Mbps, followed by Vietnam with an average connection speed of 1.8 Mbps.

  • In the fourth quarter, Finland and Australia led the world with 99 percent 4 Mbps adoption rates, followed closely by Sweden with 98 percent adoption.

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