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September 2013

Infographics

Internet Speeds Around the World: Where Does the U.S. Fit In?

September 24, 2013

The average global Internet connection speed hit its highest rate in the first quarter of 2013: 3.1 Mbps, according to the Akamai State of the Internet Report. This might not seem very high, considering the Internet speeds you may receive in your home from Hughesnet plans or the like, but remember—that's just the average. Meanwhile, stateside, the U.S. has seen a staggering 27 percent increase in our average Internet connection speeds since last year.

The U.S. stands at number nine on Akamai's top 10 list of countries that saw double-digit growth. Even though our tech-savvy country, with an 18.73 Mbps average, is experiencing this great growth, there are others that have surpassed us and are gaining speed.

Where to Find the Fastest Speeds

On average, the global peak connection speed is 18.4 Mbps. This average maximum is measured from all of the unique IP addresses that Akamai views in a certain geography that represents connection capacity. However, many countries are enjoying speeds of 30 Mbps or more. Just to give you an idea of how fast some are, here is a bit about some of the fastest Internet-surfing countries.

Singapore made the list with their quick 30.7 megabits per second rating. They are known as a tech hub and have four major Internet service providers. Their ultimate goal is to reach the title of Intelligent Nation 2015 and, with broadband readily available all over the country, they have a connectivity rate of 99 percent.

Fast internet

Another top-speed country is Romania, at 37.4 Mbps. Latvia beats Romania’s speed, but by only a smidge, at 37.5 Mbps. Since this country’s total population of Internet users falls below 10 percent, it seems to be an odd country to have such fast Internet. Due to its smaller size, it is easier to cover the country with higher speed Internet.

Infrastructure, Culture, Money

One of the major reasons why Romania's user percentage is so low, though, is that the prices for service are so high. There are countries around the world whose Internet prices equal 100 percent or more of the average monthly income. On the flipside, 25 countries pay only 1 percent or less of their average monthly income for Internet service.

Japan has an overall average peak speed of 50 Mbps. One of the reasons for this success is the high-speed optic fibers that run throughout many areas of the country. Fiber-optic Internet is slowly becoming available to regular everyday users and not just for the big businesses and governments.

Internet users in Hong Kong are seeing blazingly fast speeds of 63.6 Mbps. This is due to their investments in Fiber to the Home (FTTH) infrastructures and dynamic Internet pricing. Japan and China are not the only countries to see this technology. This growing trend of Internet speed has hit France, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and other European countries as well.

The United States also has begun to engage in FTTH. There are nearly 400 communities around the country where the government is already using this technology. Over 40 areas are currently offering the public this famed one gigabit service as well.

Culture and politics are a couple reasons some areas have slower speeds. In America, more people subscribe to television and cellphone service than Internet due to digital illiteracy and low interest. The country could see a 90 percent broadband Internet subscription rate if these two issues were addressed. As of now, the United States sees about 70 percent of Internet subscribers.