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Akamai Study Finds UK Average Broadband Speeds Fell to 4.9Mbps in 2011

Monday, April 30th, 2012 (12:30 pm) - Score 907
akamai global broadband speed

Akamai‘s global Content Delivery Network (CDN) has released its latest State of the Internet Q4 2011 report, which found that the average global internet download speed had fallen to 2.3Mbps (Megabits \ sec) by the end of last year (down from 2.7Mbps in Q3-2011). The UK average speed also dropped to 4.9Mbps (down from 5.1Mbps in Q3).

The CDN admits the fall in internet speed was both “unusual, and fairly significant“, before adding that it didn’t know what caused the decline. Apparently 93 countries/regions that qualified for inclusion into Akamai’s results saw average connection speeds decline, ranging from a loss of just 0.3% in Kyrgyzstan to a 31% drop in Kuwait.

It should be said that the performance of CDN platforms can be affected by many factors. Ofcom’s own results for the UK (here), which cover the period to November 2011, found that average broadband download speeds had increased to 7.6Mbps (up by 11% from 6.8Mbps last summer 2011).

Meanwhile South Korea, which uses a national superfast fibre optic ( FTTH ) telecoms infrastructure to deliver average download speeds of 17.5Mbps (up from 16.7Mbps in Q3), remains the fastest country in the world. By comparison the fastest European state was still the Netherlands with 8.2Mbps (down from 8.5Mbps in Q3).

akamai q4 2011 world internet connection speeds

The report notes that 30% of broadband users in the UK experienced download speeds of over the average at 4.9Mbps (down from 31% in Q2), while an unchanged 91% received more than 2Mbps (i.e. the governments minimum USC speed target for 2015) and just 0.5% suffered speeds of less than 256Kbps (unchanged from Q3). The UK’s PEAK recorded speed hit 20.4Mbps in Q4, which is up from 20Mbps in Q3.

Elsewhere the average UK mobile download speed ( Mobile Broadband ) jumped to 3.1Mbps (up from 2.87Mbps in Q3), yet the average monthly mobile data consumption per user saw a fall from 754MB (MegaBytes) in Q3-2011 to 405MB in Q4. By comparison a German mobile operator had the highest average world mobile speed at 5.2Mbps (the majority of mobile operators don’t even get close to this).

Akamai’s State of the Internet Q4 2011 Report
http://www.akamai.com/stateoftheinternet/

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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2 Responses
  1. Avatar Rabbit

    A 0.3% speed drop in Kyrgyzstan has been kept out of the news….. Murdoch, BBC?

  2. Avatar New_Londoner

    I remain to be convinced whether thi sreport serves any useful purpose given the methodology employed. In particular, it fails to recognise that many of us enjoy a choice of methods of connectivity and speeds.

    In addition the significant difference in speeds reported between this and Ofcom’s report needs an explanation – IIRC Akamai don’t actually measure the speed at the end user’s connection, but look at download speeds from their servers, which could be affected by a range of other factors.

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