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Global average Internet connections reach 2.6 Mbps

The latest State of the Internet report from Content Delivery Network (CDN) operator Akamai has found that both penetration of Internet services and average access speeds (fixed and mobile) both increased in the first quarter of this year, while IPv6 connections continue to proliferate.

More than 666mn unique IP addresses from 238 countries and regions around the world connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform in the first three months of this year, up nearly 14% from the previous year and up 6% from the fourth quarter of 2011.

The unique IP address count across the top ten connecting countries represented nearly 66 percent of the global figure, according to Akamai – a concentration level approximately one percent lower than in the fourth quarter of 2011.

When looking at year-over-year changes in IP address connections, China, Brazil, Italy, and Russia all once again maintained extremely robust growth rates in excess of 20 percent.

Following the World IPv6 Launch in June, Akamai anticipates beginning to see a greater number of IPv6 connections. This will also be driven by providers rolling out native IPv6 connectivity to their subscribers, and greater availability of popular content over IPv6.

The report’s latest instalment also redefines the terms ‘broadband’ and ‘high broadband’, in line with speed targets set out by the United States, China and the European Commission, with broadband now defined as speeds of 4 Mbps, and high broadband defined as speeds of 10 Mbps or more.

Under these new definitions, global adoption of high broadband reached 10% in the quarter, up 19% on a sequential basis.

Among the top 10 countries for high broadband adoption, South Korea topped the list with 53 percent penetration. Japan (37 percent), Hong Kong (28 percent), Latvia (26 percent) and the Netherlands (24 percent) rounded out the top five.

The global average connections speed in the first quarter of this year was 2.6 Mbps, with 125 of the countries covered in the report seeing year-over year increases, while just ten countries saw declines in connection speeds.

South Korea (15.7 Mbps) was once again home to the fastest average connection speed, followed by Japan (10.9 Mbps), Hong Kong (9.3 Mbps), the Netherlands (8.8 Mbps) and Latvia (8.8 Mbps).

Regarding mobile connection speeds, Akamai found that a mobile service provider in Germany delivered the fastest average connection speed during the quarter, averaging at slightly less than 6 Mbps.

Of all mobile operators tracked, five had an average connection speed of greater than 4 Mbps, while 65 mobile operators had average connection speeds greater than 1 Mbps. Only three providers had average connection speeds below 500 kbps.

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