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Internet connection – the key to economic growth?
Many years ago, I visited Portugal on vacation and was pleasantly surprised to find that their banking and telephone networks were “state of the art” and further advanced than what I had experienced in many parts of the USA and UK. Why? … my friend who lives there gave me his theory which was that Portugal had never in the past been world leaders in technology but when they finally invested, they bought the latest and best – and as a result jumped ahead of the technology already in place in many other countries.
Globally, almost every businesses ( big and small) invests where internet access is reliable, fast and economic and who would disagree that this trend will continue? It’s not just about head office internet access, it’s about efficient and flexible workforce mobility, it’s about high quality video conferencing and system reliability.
I would argue that investment in internet infrastructure is every bit as important as more visible physical infrastructure projects ( rail, road etc) and for those countries still struggling to free themselves from recession it should be a priority.
Most major cities in the world will have reasonable access and therefore you could argue that there is not much to choose between countries – however if a country as a whole is to prosper then it is not just the major cities that need to connected, it’s also all the outlying towns and villages as well and this is where the issues may arise.
Internet Connection Speeds [Infographic]
So how is your country performing in the global internet connection race? I have included an infographic that is based on the quarterly Akamai “State of the Internet” report. Like all these reports, the speed figures quoted are averages and therefore hide the often significant differences between best and worst. The penetration figures in the first part seem to be based on Akamai’s server figures and therefore I am not sure they show much more than to say that those countries that already had high penetration are starting to slow.
The more interesting figures for me are the measured connection speeds. Yes, they are averages and of course there are all sorts of technical and physical reasons (such as density of population) that present individual providers and legislators with challenges, however if your country doesn’t get this right then others will.
Just look at Asia Pacific vs Europe in Global Average Connection speeds and the challenge for many countries becomes apparent. ( If your country is not represented below then why not check out the full report)