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I have graphed some Country (as well as specific USA state) average internet connection speeds (up until June 2011) and the results continue to show a wide range of service delivery. (Updated connection speed data in our May 2012 post The Internet Economy)
We used the Akamai tool to produce these – it’s an excellent source of data and if you use the tool live from their site there are many more countries and US states to analyze (you can also sign up for their highly detailed reports on fixed line and mobile data stats).
Fastest Average Connection Speeds by Country
The figures above run from Q3 2007 until Q2 2011 for USA, China, South Korea, UK, India, Japan and Australia. These are only averages within a country of course and the speeds that any one individual will enjoy will be influenced by a very wide range of factors, not just technical, but many of which are regional or geographic such as distance from network hubs and density of user population.
For those of you who really want to understand more and dig deeper into the detail then the Akamai reports have a load of information. These are averages and more can be learned about the performance of broadband (greater than 2 Mbps), and “high broadband” ( 5 Mbps or greater). They classify narrowband for connections slower than 256 kbps.
Speed isn’t everything of course however there are not many who would disagree that investment in infrastructure reflects the determination of a country or region to be leaders, not followers, in these digital days…
Fastest Average Connection Speeds by US State
Looking at a selection of US states (if you don’t see your State here then just check out the live tool for yourself) you can see the significant variations in average internet connection speed. The ranking may have been fairly predictable however there is an argument to say that equal access to the internet for all should become something of a right. After all, it’s not just your social viewing habits being disadvantaged by substandard access times – Businesses as well as government agencies need to be able to rely on fast access for all – and slower speeds affect the usability of certain sites, especially those rich in multimedia.
When you consider that even within individual U.S. states there are significant differences between cities then you will appreciate that individuals’ personal experiences will vary from the averages shown above. The graphics do however demonstrate that access to the web is certainly no level playing field and if legislators are looking for something worthwhile to throw some stimulating investment at in these days of lower economic growth – then this might be a good place to start?