The Internet Is Still Slowly Gaining Speed Around The World

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The Internet is constantly evolving around the world. The speed at which it's evolving, however, is an entirely different story. It's this evolution that has proven to be one of the more interesting things to watch as world moves towards faster Internet and new technologies like IPv6.

Once again, we have a front row seat to the changes occurring to the Internet thanks to Akamai's State of the Internet report that covers Q2. The previous Q1 report found that the Internet was slowly getting faster around the world. How is Q2 shaping up? Things are still slowly getting faster, but individual countries are seeing declines.

In Q2 2012, the average internet speed around the world was 3 Mbps. That's a quarter-over-quarter increase of 13 percent. Even better, it's a year-over-year increase of 15 percent. Unfortunately, it doesn't look that good for the top ten countries around the world. South Korea, bastion of fast Internet, actually saw a quarter-over-quarter decrease of 9.8 percent to 14.2 Mbps. The United States is in 9th place with an average of 6.6 Mbps which is a quarter-over-quarter decrease of 1.4 percent.

In worrying news, global broadband speeds are down this quarter. Akamai defines high broadband as connections over 10 Mbps and this bracket saw a sizable decline. Globally, the percentage of Internet users with high broadband is at 10 percent which is a quarter-over-quarter decrease of 1.6 percent. Getting into individual countries, 49 percent of South Korea has high broadband which is a quarter-over-quarter decrease of 7.4 percent. The United States pulls in at 7th place with 16 percent of the population using high broadband which is a quarter-over-quarter increase of 5.5 percent.

Things look a little better as we head into general broadband territory which is defined by speeds faster than 4 Mbps. The global average is at 39 percent which is a quarter-over-quarter decline of 2.8 percent. South Korea is once again at the top with 84 percent of its citizens at broadband speeds which is a quarter-over-quarter decrease of 2.2 percent. The United States is not even in the top 10 this time as it pulls in at 13th place with 57 percent of the population at broadband speeds. This is a quarter-over-quarter decline of 4.6 percent.

Moving on to the United States, New England is still dominant force in the country when it comes to fast Internet speeds. The top 10 average Internet speeds mostly belong to Northeastern states with New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut belonging to the top 10. The fastest average Internet in the U.S., however, belongs to Delaware with average speeds of 12.1 Mbps which is a quarter-over-quarter increase of 18 percent.

The breakdown is largely the same when it comes to the percentage of citizens who are on high broadband connections. Delaware is still number one with 39 percent of its citizens enjoying high broadband, which is a quarter-over-quarter increase of 19 percent. Unlike the average speeds, however, most of the states with the highest percentages of high broadband users belong on the east coast. Washington state is the only West Coast state that features a high percentage of citizens on high broadband.

General broadband availability is still mostly present in the Northeastern states, but there's one surprise here. Florida pulled in at 10th place with 69 percent of its citizens using regular broadband. That's an quarter-over-quarter increase of 2.7 percent.

Beyond Internet speeds, Akamai also took time out this quarter to look at the increasing adoption rates of IPv6. IPv6 was made available to everyone on June 6, and since then IPv6 growth has been at seven percent in 2012. Akamai points out that this is actually lower than the growth rates from the past three years. One possible reason is that most large organizations and networks had already switched to IPv6 in the years leading up to the official rollout.

As for the rest of the report, you can request a copy here. It breaks down Internet penetration rates for other geographic regions including the explosive Internet regions in Asia that are just starting to make a presence on the Internet. You can also check out the latest cyber threats and where they're coming from.

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