Thursday, 30 August 2012

Which Countries Have The Fastest Broadband?

In the spirit of the London Olympics, we at uSwitch, decided to find out which country gets gold for having the fastest broadband. And the winner is, drum roll please, South Korea! Averaging at a speed of 17.62MB/s, top speed being up to 100Mbps, South Korea also had a high broadband penetration of 83 % at the end of last year. It is officially the country with broadband connections that say catch me if you can as the second fastest, Japan averaged far behind at 10.9Mbps. Meanwhile, Germany wins the title for fastest mobile broadband connection at 6.1Mbps.

Broadband, basically, refers to a large bandwidth and is a telecommunication signal used to access the World Wide Web. There are many types of broadband connections; wireless, satellite, fibre optic, etc., the fastest being the fibre optic type of broadband connections. Factors that determined the broadband speed were the peak connection speed, average connection speed and number of unique IP addresses.

South Korea not only has the fastest average broadband speed, it was also the first country to ditch the dial-up connection for broadband. The South Korean government has issued several programmes and policies to popularise broadband in the country, as the Internet has a higher status in South Korea than in any other country. Wibro and HSDPA are the most commonly used wireless broadband technologies in South Korea. Many restaurants across the country also offer free Wi-Fi to their customers.

Interestingly, the fastest Internet speed in the world is provided by Virgin Media in the United Kingdom at 1.5Gbps and not South Korea. The
speed test also revealed that the average broadband speed in the world is 2.6 Mbps, with an average global peak connection speed of 13.5Mbps. With increasing broadband speeds, the term broadband is being redefined. A connection is termed ‘broadband’ if it has a speed of 4 Mbps or higher and ‘high broadband’ for connections with speeds greater than 10Mbps. Surprisingly though, China has the most number of Internet users in the world, it did not make it to the top ten list of countries with the fastest broadband speed.
Other countries with fast broadband speeds were

•       Hong Kong at 9.3Mbps
•       Netherlands at 8.8Mbps
•       Latvia at 8.3Mbps
•       Switzerland at 7.3Mbps
•       Ireland at 7.1Mbps
•       Czech Republic at 6.8Mbps
•       Romania at 6.7Mbps
•       Denmark at 6.5Mbps.

The average broadband speed in the United Kingdom is 5.6Mbps, putting it at a dismal 21st position, while the average broadband speed of the United States of America is 5.8Mbps, which puts it at the 13th place globally.

With vast improvements in mobile technology that has been noticed over the past few years, mobile data traffic seems to have doubled up over the last year. The growth in numbers has been noted more in smaller countries than the larger ones. Mobile broadband speeds ranged from 32.2Mbps to 2.2Mbps. The number of unique IP addresses seems to have gone up as well. There has been a 6 % increase in IP addresses across the world, with 666 million unique addresses from 238 countries. The Internet seems to be speeding up across the world as 125 countries showed faster broadband speeds compared to last year.

Unfortunately, with high speed Internet on the rise, there also seems to be an increase in attack traffic all over the world, with China in the lead. Attack traffic refers to a ‘denial-of-service attack’, which makes networks resources unavailable to other users. After China, Europe and the United States were the countries with the most cases of attack traffic at 35 % and 21 % respectively.

Several companies are trying to develop cheaper and faster broadband services, and fibre optic broadband Internet seems to be the best option. With the fastest Internet now available in the UK, there’s no saying what may happen to the list in a matter of months. So stay in touch and we will keep you posted!

Written by:

Nathan Morgan has been an IT professional for 14 years. His work is currently focused on Linux servers. He has encryption experience including the deployment of True Crypt and similar packages, and detailed knowledge of document scanning solutions to transform off-line archives into accessible digital data.
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Gautham A S

Gautham A S is a personal tech columnist and blogging expert at TechGau.Org, one of the leading Tech, How-To and Blogging Tips blogs in the world..