While the U.S. can lay claim to having some of the most innovative high-tech companies, they don’t have the Internet connection speed to match it. In fact, the U.S. doesn’t even enter in the top 10 for fastest connections in the world.
Akamai Technologies puts out quarterly State of the Internet reports each year that, among other things, break down the countries and cities with the highest peak Internet connection speeds and the highest average Internet connection speeds. This quarterly report can be helpful in showing where your local Internet provider falls in terms of globally competitiveness.
Where in the World?
Image by Marufish via Flickr.
According to the 2013 quarter one report by Akamai, the city-state of Hong Kong has the highest peak connection speed in the world at 63.6 megabits per second (Mbps). South Korea had the highest percentage of broadband over 10 Mbps at 50 percent. At these speeds, you could download an entire feature film in HD in about 30 minutes.
The top 10 countries with the fastest Internet are all located in Europe or Asia. Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan lead the world in average high Internet connection speeds.
The U.S. didn’t fare as well, falling to number 11 on the list, with 36.6 Mbps. If you live in Vermont, however, you are getting some of the fastest Internet in the country.
Why the Difference?
The countries (and states) with the fastest Internet connection speeds are typically small ones, because it’s easier to build out the broadband infrastructure. Financing the better infrastructure is another component. The countries with higher Internet speeds are also the ones who have governments that finance the advanced infrastructures.
In the United States, cities and regions with Google Fiber are topping out with the fastest Internet speeds. Currently, Google Fiber is in 16 cities: seven in Kansas, seven in Minnesota, one in Utah and most recently one in Austin, Texas.
Does Speed Matter?
Countries and regions with higher Internet speeds have quicker access to information and technology. Because of this, those places are seeing economic growth. High-speed technology helps everything from the economy, to health care, to education. Studies show investment in quick Internet speeds produces high-paying, quality jobs. A quality broadband infrastructure also helps connect rural areas to the rest of the country and helps students in those areas access quick information and educational possibilities.
High-speed Internet matters, but it’s not always readily available. Getting higher speeds is not at the top of the U.S. government’s list of concerns right now, and until it is, you will have to travel to if you want the quickest speeds in the world.
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