Internet connection speeds continued to show positive long-term trends around the world, with particularly strong year-over-year increases across all broadband adoption metrics, according to a report from Akamai Technologies, Inc.
Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the report provides insight into key global statistics such as connection speeds, broadband adoption metrics, notable Internet disruptions, IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.
“When Akamai first published the report in 2008, we defined ‘high broadband’ as 5 Mbps and above, which nine years ago had an adoption rate of 16% globally,” said David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report.
“We’re now seeing a 15 Mbps adoption rate of 25% worldwide. The upward trends are encouraging as businesses create and deliver even richer experiences for bigger audiences across the Internet, but accentuate the need for organizations to optimize those experiences for the myriad connected devices their customers are using.”
The report notes that the global average connection speed increased 12% to 7.0 Mbps in the fourth quarter, a 26% increase year over year. South Korea again had the highest average connection speed globally at 26.1 Mbps in the fourth quarter. At 26.7 Mbps, the District of Columbia led the United States in average connection speed.
Global 4, 10, 15 and 25 Mbps broadband adoption rates increased 15%, 31%, 37% and 45% year over year, respectively.
IPv4 and IPv6
In the fourth quarter of 2016, nearly 807 million unique IPv4 addresses connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, which is a 0.4% decrease as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.
There was significantly less IPv4 allocation/assignment activity in the fourth quarter, with 6.4 million addresses allocated/assigned versus 16 million in the third quarter.
With 47% percent of its content requests to Akamai coming over IPv6, Belgium maintained its significant global lead in IPv6 adoption with a 20% quarter-over-quarter increase.
Average mobile connection speeds ranged from a high of 26.8 Mbps in the United Kingdom to a low of 2.9 Mbps in Venezuela.
Among the qualifying surveyed countries/regions, 30 had an average mobile connection speed at or exceeding the 10 Mbps broadband threshold (up from 24 in the previous quarter), while 58 achieved average speeds at or above the 4 Mbps broadband level (up from 52).
Disruptions and Events
During Hurricane Matthew in October, Internet traffic to the Bahamas dropped to approximately one-tenth of normal levels for the country.
Internet traffic levels to The Gambia abruptly dropped to zero on November 30th, shortly ahead of the country’s December 1st elections, and returned to normal on December 2nd.
On several dates, the Iraqi government continued its policy of blocking Internet access across the country to prevent cheating during middle and high school national exams.
Technical issues at the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) were blamed for a sudden drop in traffic to the country in December.