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Average Global Internet Download Speeds Top 3.8Mb as UK Hits 9.4Mb in 2013

Wednesday, Apr 23rd, 2014 (11:30 am) - Score 2,037

At the end of 2013 the average global broadband download speed, according to Akamai’s State of the Internet report, increased by 5.5% during the final quarter to top 3.8Mbps. By comparison the United Kingdom skipped from 14th to 13th fastest and saw its speed rise by 3.3% in the quarter to total 9.4Mbps.

Unfortunately at the time of writing the data tables issued to us for this report appeared to only show the UK figures for Q3 and not Q4 (this does not affect the overall tables listed below which use the latest data), thus we’re unable to bring you a detailed breakdown of local speeds.


Overall, 133 qualifying countries/regions ended the year with higher average connection speeds than the year before, contributing to a general increase of 27% from the end of 2012 (note: the UK jumped by 29%).

Sadly these results, while an improvement, aren’t enough to see us make it back into the Top 10 but we’re not far off.


As usual the country’s with a strong and widely available national fibre optic (FTTH/P) infrastructure, which uses laser light to transmit data into homes and businesses instead of sending electrical signals down older copper or coaxial cables (e.g. ADSL, FTTC, Cable/FTTN etc.), tend to take up most of the top spots.

South Korea held the top spot from quarter to quarter, reporting the highest average connection speed of 21.9Mbps, which is more than double the United Kingdom’s score. In addition, Hong Kong and South Korea boast the highest average peak connection speeds and remain the only two countries above 60Mbps, at 68Mbps and 64.4Mbps respectively (the UK peak speed is 43.5Mbps – placing us 12th overall, an increase of 35% in the year).


David Belson, Report Author, said:

We’ve reached a significant milestone in the improvement of average connection speeds. The fact that all of the top 10 countries/regions’ average connection speeds are now at or exceeding the high broadband threshold [10Mbps+] – and continued strong growth in countries like South Korea and Ireland – is indicative of the progress that’s being made in broadband penetration. It’s reasonable to expect these promising trends will continue to be reflected in future reports.”

However a look at the wider picture, which puts us alongside the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), suggests that Europe’s big boys remain behind the UK but we’re by no means the fastest on the continent and those fibre optic loving countries still top the table.


However it’s always important to stress that Akamai’s statistics reflect the regional performance of their Content Delivery Network (CDN) and its connections with related ISP servers around the world, which means that the results should not be taken as a reliable reflection of real-world end-user speeds.

In addition other issues, such as the performance of an end-users home wifi network, the Traffic Management measures implemented by your ISP and consumer package choice (i.e. slower speeds for a cheaper price) can all impact upon the results.

Akamai – State of the Internet Report (Q4 2013)

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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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