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Global Average Connection Speed Decreased in Q2 2016: Akamai

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For many, connecting to the internet got slightly slower in Q2.

Akamai's quarterly State of the Internet connectivity report is typically a measure of how online access gets better little by little. But the Q2 2016 report carries a surprise: The global average connection speed decreased to 6.1 Mbps, down from 6.3 Mbps in Q1 (a 2.3 percent decrease). Nine of the top ten fastest countries showed declines in Q2, with only Singapore showing an increase. South Korea again held the lead, with an average connection speed of 27.0 Mbps (which is down 7.2 percent from Q1), followed by Norway, Hong Kong, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Latvia, Singapore, Japan, and Iceland. The United States came in 17th, with an average connection speed of 15.3 Mbps.

“A number of the top countries saw average connection speeds decline in the second quarter, which drove the global decline in turn," explains David Belson, senior director of industry and data intelligence at Akamai. "The decreases seen in these average connection speeds were fairly nominal, could have been driven by a number of factors, and are not a cause for concern. It is more instructive to look at the long-term (year-over-year) trends which remain overwhelmingly positive—an indication that internet connectivity continues to improve over time.”

In the U.S., Washington D.C. was again fastest among the states (Akamai lists the district as a state), with an average connection speed of 24.3 Mbps. That shows a strong year-over-year boost of 47 percent. Making up the rest of the top ten are Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, Utah, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, and Washington.

Akamai's report is a useful gauge of 4K video readiness. Experts consider 15 Mbps the minimum for 4K viewing, and only in four states—Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, and D.C.—do half or more of connections get download speeds of 15 Mbps. Many states saw declines.

Data from the report is available at the State of the Internet section of the Akamai site. The full report is available for download (registration required).

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