The Fastest and Cheapest Internet Connections

The United States basically invented the Internet, so naturally they have the fastest and cheapest Internet speeds, right? Wrong. While the United States may be the largest contributor to the invention of the Internet and its following technologies, they do not have the fastest speeds or the cheapest.

Internet speeds in the United States are lagging behind in speeds in comparison to South Korea. According to Akamai, an Internet marketing firm, South Korea has the fastest Internet speeds in the world. As if to kick a man while he is down, Internet connections in South Korea has a lower price tag than United States Internet connections.

It costs roughly $45 per month for one of the slower connections in the United States.  Comparatively, South Korea’s faster Internet speed connections cost approximately $17 less than United States. The average broadband bill in South Korea costs about $28 in U.S. currency. Let’s review the top countries with the fastest average Internet speeds for the fourth quarter of 2011.

1.    South Korea has an average speed of 17.5 Mbps.
2.    Japan has an average speed of 9.1 Mbps.
3.    Hong Kong has an average speed of 9.1 Mbps.
4.    Netherlands has an average speed of 8.2 Mbps.
5.    Latvia has an average speed of 7.8 Mbps
6.    Switzerland has an average speed of 7.3 Mbps
7.    Ireland has an average speed of 6.8 Mbps.
8.    Czech Republic has an average speed of 6.7 Mbps.
9.    Romania has an average speed of 6.4 Mbps.

Very recently, the United States average Internet connection speeds jumped to 6.7 Mbps for the first quarter of 2012. In the same first quarter, approximately 15% of United States Internet connections had speeds of 10 Mbps or more. This is not to say that United States’ ISPs do not provide speeds from10-20 Mbps. Akamai’s ‘State of the Internet’ report reflects the average only; the same principle applies to the other countries included in the reports.

The average Internet speeds of a country can be skewed by statistical outliers. For example, if nine people connect to the Internet with speeds of 1 Mbps but another person can connect to the Internet at speeds of 20 Mbps, the average connection speed would be 3 Mbps. Looking at the average speeds of those 10 people can be misleading and may misrepresent the experience of the majority.

Akamai makes its “State of the Internet” reports, but many people might be wondering how. One might think that gathering information like this would entail talking to thousands of mobile providers and ISPs. It would require lengthy studies to assess such reports, and this is the type of information that ISPs do not want to fall in the hands of others, because it would divulge too much to their competitors.

Akamai has managed to maneuver around lengthy and awkward question-asking, because it happens to be one of the largest content providers in the world. Akamai provided a mirroring service to companies that wanted their content available to certain countries or the world. Companies could store that content with Akamai instead of overloading their own servers. Akamai services around 15-30 percent of all web traffic at a given moment. Akamai’s service and exposure to a large portion of Internet traffic are what gives them the ability to make statistical measurements of the fastest Internet speeds in the world.

This article was written by Rob Pell on behalf of Simplifydigital. Simplifydigital are Ofcom accredited and provide independent advice to consumers looking for the right broadband, TV and home phone packages.

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