15% of World’s Broadband Deemed ‘4K-Ready’

Global broadband speeds experienced some ups and downs in Q3 as average connection speeds rose versus the previous period along with a small decline in average peak speeds, according to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report.

Akamai also found that 15% of the world is “4K ready,” the classification Akamai assigns to broadband connections that pump out at least 15 Mbps. That 4K-readiness figure, which is becoming more important as Netflix, Amazon and MVPDs look to expand their 4K streaming libraries, is up from 5.3% in Q3 2014, according to Akamai.

In Q3, global average connection speeds rose 14% year-over-year, to 5.1 Mbps, but only rose 0.2% versus the previous quarter.

South Korea (20.5 Mbps) was tops in that category, though down 19% year-on-year. Rounding out the global top 10 for average connections speeds were: Sweden (17.4Mbps); Norway (16.4 Mbps); Switzerland (16.2 Mbps); Hong Kong (15.8 Mbps); Netherlands (15.6 Mbps); Japan (15 Mbps); Finland (14.8 Mbps); Latvia (14.5 Mbps) and Czech Republic (14.5 Mbps). The United States, which placed 16th globally, produced a 12.6 Mbps average, up 9.4% from the year-ago quarter, and up 7.3% versus Q2 2015.

With respect to average peak connection speeds, the world averaged 32.2 Mbps in Q3 2015s, down 0.9% versus Q2 2015, but rose 30% year-over-year.

Singapore, with a peak average of 135.4 Mbps, led the way, followed by Hong Kong (101.1 Mbps); South Korea (86.6 Mbps); Japan (78.4 Mbps); Taiwan (77.9 Mbps); Qatar (75.2 Mbps); Macao (73.7 Mbps); Romania (72.9 Mbps); Israel (70 Mbps); and Sweden (69 Mbps). The U.S. was 21st globally, with a peak average in Q3 2015 of 57.3 Mbps, up 18% year-over-year, and up 14% quarter over quarter.

Akamai also tracks adoption by speed levels, including 25 Mbps, the FCC’s current downstream benchmark for what's considered “broadband.”

Globally, 5.2% of unique IP addresses connected to Akamai at average connection speeds of at least 25 Mbps, up 6.3% versus the previous quarter, led by South Korea (24%), Sweden (19%) and Norway (16%).

The U.S. was not in the top 10 in the 25 Mbps category, but Washington,  D.C., was tops in the nation, with 22% of connections providing average speeds of at least 25 Mbps in Q3 2015, followed by Delaware (17%), Utah (14%) and Massachusetts (13%.)

Akamai also continued to track adoption of IPv6, a more massive IP addressing scheme that enters play as the pool of IPv4 addresses runs dry and amid the growth of the so-called Internet of Things.