With the advent of Google Fiber in Kansas City, we're all now wanting a world with faster Internet. The traditional ISPs in the U.S. are slowly expanding their services, but some may think that they're not moving fast enough. There's also the issue of consumers in the U.S. paying way too much for much too little.
While there is little consolation for our Internet woes, there is some hope in the form of a new study from Akamai. The company published "The State of the Internet Report" and the findings are pretty interesting. The study looks at how the Internet has grown in the world, and in the U.S., in the first quarter of 2012.
In a bit of sad opening news, the U.S. is not even in the top 10 of global average Internet speeds. The average speed in the U.S. is a paltry 6.7 Mbps. South Korea is obviously the winner with an average speed of 15.7 Mbps. The U.S. shouldn't feel too bad though as our average speed is actually up 29 percent year-over-year. South Korea's speed is only up 9.4 percent year-over-year, and actually down 1.5 percent quarter-over-quarter.
The U.S. fairs much better when looking at the peak Internet speeds. The U.S. is in eighth place with a peak speed of 28.7 Mbps. Hong Kong takes the top spot this time with a peak speed of 49.3 Mbps. South Korea is not far behind though with a peak speed of 47.8 Mbps. It's important to note that the U.S. is once again growing in this area with 35 percent growth year-over-year.
The best news for the U.S. is the growth of high broadband, which Akimai defines as having a connection of 10 Mbps or higher. Fifteen percent of U.S. citizens are at that high broadband mark which doesn't seem like much. The growth tells an entirely different story, however, with 95 percent growth year-over-year. Unfortunately, South Korea has to win again with 53 percent of their citizens being at high broadband. Their growth is also higher at 97 percent year-over-year.
Things get really interesting when you look at the U.S. on a state-by-state basis. Delaware has the fastest average speed in the country with an average of 10.2 Mbps. That's an increase of 58 percent year-over-year. Washington state brings up the rear with an average speed of 7.9 Mbps.
Delaware leads the pack again in peak connection speeds of 43.4 Mbps. It's an increase of 44 percent year-over-year. Unlike the global peak connection speeds, there is no real correlation to the average connection speeds. Much of the peak connection speeds actually come from the Northeast with states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts making up most of the list.
The Northeast wins again when it comes to the adoption of high broadband. Delaware is the winner again with 33 percent of its citizens having access to Internet at 10 Mbps or higher. The rest of the list is populated by Northeastern states except for Washington state bringing up the rear with 21 percent adoption.
As for regular broadband adoption of over 4 Mbps, the Northeast is the winner again. An amazing 92 percent of Delaware residents have Internet over 4 Mbps with the lowest being only 68 percent in the District of Columbia. The growth at this point is slower though with Delaware only seeing growth of 14 percent year-over-year.
So what does this all mean? The Internet is getting faster around the world. The U.S. is actually increasing its average speed by a lot, but there's still a lot of work to be done. It's pretty pitiful that nobody outside of the Northeast, sans Washington state, is represented in the state breakdown.
Regardless, it's a good sign that the Internet and speed are both growing throughout the U.S. and the world. It may not be growing as fast as we want it to, but it's there. If Google brings Fiber outside of Kansas City, the U.S. might be able to better compete with the world. It will at least be interesting to see if Kansas or Missouri shows up on this report once Google Fiber launches. A few thousand homes with 1 Gbps connections might help even the odds.
If you want to see the report in full with breakdowns of all the major global markets, check out the study on Akimai's Web site. It should be pointed out that they do require you to register with them to check out the study.