There are 2.4 billion Web users spanning the globe. In this age of the Internet, more businesses and schools are integrating online tools in their everyday process. It’s not enough to be able to log onto a computer and access the Web. People need to find what they’re looking for with ease and speed.
Luckily, the rising average global Internet speeds are reflecting a response to this need, with the worldwide average currently standing at 3.1Mbps—an increase of 17 percent over 2012. So, which areas boast the fastest Internet spots? And what exactly makes them so quick? Let’s dive into the nuances that make an Internet connection hum and which regions are doing this best.
Lucky in Landmass and Population Paucity
Whether tapping into the worldwide Web through cable, DSL or an optical fiber system, the landmass of your location impacts your speed. The larger the land you sit upon, the more bulk it essentially has to cut through. As with land mass, more people means slower when it comes to Internet speed. The more individuals in a space, the more likely your connection is going to be weighted down. Similarly to how a denser land mass interferes with speed, the concentration of people bogs it down, as well. It’s more difficult to build your infrastructure with all the interference.
Gaming and Government
Some regions are hitting home runs with their Internet speed, simply because the forces within their areas are dedicated to making it a priority. For instance, South Korea is one of the fastest regions. Part of the reason is because it’s a hub for Internet gamers. DFC Intelligence estimates South Korea’s online gaming revenue will hit the $5 billion mark by 2016, speaking to a countrywide infatuation with online games. As such, Internet speeds have to meet speed standards.
Other regions are looking at the Internet from a governmental perspective. Japan, for example, is working on numerous research projects, along with the European Commission, in the hopes of ultimately achieving 100 Gbps fiber optic speeds. If a government is willing to invest in infrastructure or Internet-based research, chances are good both national and local Internet options will benefit in speed as a result.
So, who takes the cake with Internet speed right now? According to Akamai Technologies’ quarterly report, there are five standouts:
- Hong Kong – 63.6 peak Mbps
- Japan – 50.0 peak Mbps
- Romania – 47.9 peak Mbps
- South Korea – 44.8 peak Mbps
- Latvia – 44.2 peak Mbps
These areas are the hot spots for now, but fluctuating populations and influxes of cash into research and infrastructure could produce a new leader fairly quickly. While the United States lags behind these winners for now, Akamai noted the average peak connection speed in the U.S. did upsurge by 1.7 percent in Q4 of 2012. There is progress being made domestically and abroad, and the race to be the fastest will continue.