Fibre optics

How do countries compare on broadband speed?

Fibre optics

As the world becomes ever more dependent on the web for delivering services from banking and access to government information, to shopping and streaming videos – bandwidth usage is dramatically increasing year on year.

The global average internet speed is 3.8 Mbps according to Akamai’s most recent State of the Internet report, and South Korea remains a long way in the lead, with internet users there getting an average of 21.9 Mbps.

The US crept into the top 10 fastest average speeds, with all of those countries managing over 10 Mbps for the first time, but the UK slipped to 14th with 9.1 Mbps, with Australia and New Zealand sitting further down the list with 5.8 Mbps and 5.3 Mbps connections respectively.

Fastest internet in the world

Percentage increase over last 12 months in brackets
1. South Korea 21.9 (+57%)
2. Japan 12.8 (+14%)
3. Netherlands 12.4 (+38%)
4. Hong Kong 12.2 (+22%)
5. Switzerland 12.0 (+27%)
6. Czech Republic 11.4 (+30%)
7. Sweden 10.5 (+30%)
8. Latvia 10.4 (+11%)
9. Ireland 10.4 (+59%)
10. United States 10.0 (+25%)
Global 3.8 +27%

Australia and New Zealand internet speeds have risen by around 30% over the last 12 months, and with the National broadband Network (NBN) rollout continuing in Australia, that pace of improvement is only going to continue.

Through NBN, a mixture of fibre-optic, fixed wireless and satellite technology, the Federal Australian government plans to improve the internet speeds for Australians across the country. However, the speed guarantees of the Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) plan have been dropped by the coalition government, with plans now including Fibre to the Node (FTTN), where the last mile remains along the old copper wires.

The government plans to rollout FTTN broadband to cover 93% of homes by 2020, with the remaining rural 7% of Australians receiving their broadband through a high-speed satellite connection.

Photograph by Bill Burris

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