When Fiona was gathering the results for our mid year review and looking at the top 5 posts in various categories, she spotted an old post from 2011:
The last update we ran on this topic was summer 2012 and as I’d been thinking about writing a post on web page speed it seemed appropriate to start with Akamai’s update on the State of the Internet.
Average Connection Speed
As you can see, the average connection speed has shown a strong increase and while there’s been some changeovers in the top 10 global list; the top three have remained consistent.
Akamai forecasted that the Global Average Connection Speed is sure to reach, and perhaps overtake, at least 4Mbps before the end of the year. At the other end of the scale Libya was measured at 0.5Mbps – the lowest average connection speed.
Average Peak Connection Speed
The growth over the past 3+years is even more noticeable when you look at the Average Peak Connection Speed, with an increase from 8.8Mbps to 21.2Mbps. Reaching over 66Mbps – Hong Kong and South Korea continue to lead the top 10 chart and these figures give an indication of the increasing internet connection capacity.
Growth of Broadband and Video
Broadband is growing too and in the first quarter of this year, 56% of connections to Akamai took place at speeds of 4Mbps or above and in terms of high broadband (speeds above 10Mbps). Akamai saw connections reach a new high with 21% of all
connections taking place at speeds of >10 Mbps.
As the capability for high connection speeds increases and we continue to look to the next achievable level; Akamai have started to track the countries/regions with concentrations of 4K capable connectivity; meaning more viewers are able to enjoy “Ultra” HD video when streaming 4K content. These streams require a bandwidth of at least 10Mbps, provide that next level of high broadband to measure ourselves against and indicate Akamai’s confidence of broadband connectivity continuing to improve.
All this is good news for consumers and companies like Netflix – who are at the mercy of internet connection speeds. Even in countries using older broadband structures (yes UK, I’m talking about us! … and we’re not seen in any of these Top 10 tables either) improvements are possible. In January this year an Alcatel-Lucent and BT joint test using the existing core fiber connection reached 1.4 terabytes per second and was
…the fastest speed ever achieved in commercial grade hardware in a real-world environment and is equivalent to transmitting 44 uncompressed HD films in a single second.
What about Mobile?
As if we could ever not talk about mobile when discussing internet speed! I think it’s going to be several more years before we merge delivery to desk and mobile devices into one entity.
As mobile networks and devices continue to grow exponentially Akamai has been required to adjust their reporting by expanding the number of networks that are considered to be mobile while at the same time aggregating the connectivity data at a country/region level as there are far too many mobile networks to publish in the report.
The average connection speed top hitters include:
- South Korea with 14.7Mbps
- Ukraine with 7.3Mbps
- Denmark with 7.0Mbps
- Slovakia with 7.0Mbps
- Sweden with 6.6Mbps
At the lower end of the table we see Argentina with an average connection speed of 1.0Mbps and while all qualifying countries in the report had speeds of 1.0Mbps or higher it does illustrate the extremes that are experienced when using the internet.
Nice Graphs – what’s your point?
The report illustrates quite a range of connection speeds – 1.0Mbps to 23.6Mbps when looking at just the average connection speed. The inclusion of new sections looking at mobile broadband, high broadband and 4K connections indicate that this range will continue to expand as new peak speeds are reached across the globe.
Unless we all decide to go on a Matt Cutts challenge and switch our routers off; the user demand for information to be delivered faster and quality of videos to be higher is unlikely to wane.
Updating these graphs reminded me how very few things trends to stay in one place; speed or style in Digital Marketing and while the push will always be to improve we can’t forget above those customers working with slower internet connection speeds, or on older devices. So while we get excited about what is possible with website design/development and the latest ways to integrate different channels for a “seamless user experience”,… we need to remember what our customers are using to access our services and products and if these shiny new enhancements are a help or a hindrance to them.
It also makes me pleased that we’ve upgraded our theme to be a bit more streamlined and mobile responsive, frustrated we only managed it this year and delighted that we’re continuing through the second half of the year in trying to make Web Analytics World run faster for our readers.
In future posts I want to show you the difference some of our updates have made to our page and overall website speed and of course I’m always open to feedback so if you spot something please do let me know!