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Akamai Finds Global Broadband Speeds Average 3Mbps as UK Hits 5.7Mbps

Wednesday, Oct 17th, 2012 (1:09 pm) - Score 741

Akamai has today published its latest quarterly State of the Internet Q2 2012 report, which found that the average global download speed has risen by 13% from 2.6Mbps (Megabits per second) in Q1 to 3Mbps now. Meanwhile the average broadband speed in the UK stands at 5.7Mbps (up slightly from 5.6Mbps in Q1).

The result means that UK internet speeds, which also peaked at 24.5Mbps, are now the 21st fastest in the world (up from 22nd in Q1). Sadly we’re still dwarfed by top place holder South Korea, which harnesses a national fibre optic network (Fibre-to-the-Home) to deliver average rates of 14.2Mbps (down from 15.7Mbps in Q1) and peaks of up to 46.9Mbps.

Elsewhere the fastest European countries were Latvia (8.7Mbps) and Switzerland (8.4Mbps). It’s worth adding that many of the world’s fastest countries (e.g. South Korea, Japan) have strong FTTH style telecoms infrastructure but rarely deliver on the technology’s 100Mbps+ capability. This is often due to a mix of capacity constraints, Traffic Management measures and ISPs offering slower speeds as options for a lower price.

akamai q2 2012 global internet download speeds

The report also reveals that 56% of broadband users in the UK experienced internet download speeds of above 4Mbps (down from 58% in Q1), yet 7.6% were able to get speeds of 10Mbps+ (up from 6.5% in Q1). The UK remains dominated by slower ADSL based copper connections that often deliver speeds of well below the advertised rate. Separately the average UK mobile download speed (Mobile Broadband) fell to around 2.9Mbps from 3.2Mbps in Q1.

As usual it’s important to remember that Akamai’s data reflects the regional performance of its Content Delivery Network (CDN) and their connections with related ISP servers around the world, thus it should perhaps not be taken as a reliable reflection of real-world end-user connection speeds. The performance of a remote CDN can be affected by all sorts of different factors.

Ofcom’s most recent UK results, which covered the period up to May 2012, found that average broadband download speeds had increased to 9Mbps (up by from 7.6Mbps in November 2011).

Akamai’s State of the Internet Q2 2012 Report

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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