Highlights from Akamai’s quarterly report follow:
100 Fastest Cities Worldwide
Akamai once again examined the average measured connection speed of cities around the world. After applying ‘city size’ (at least 50,000 unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai) and ‘academic network’ filters to the data, last quarter’s top three cities ? Berkeley, California; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Stanford, California ? each disappeared from the top 100 list, with the prior quarter’s fourth-place city, Masan, South Korea, moving into the top spot. Reviewing the top 100 fastest cities around the world in the first quarter of 2010 reveals the following:
•Asia dominates the list, with over half (61) of the top cities in Japan
•Only 12 U.S. cities made the list, with more than half (7) of such cities being in California
•Umea, Sweden is the fastest city in Europe, ranking #18 out of 100
Global Average Maximum Connection Speeds
New to the State of the Internet report this quarter is a review of average maximum connection speeds.* In contrast to the average measured connection speed, the average maximum connection speed metric is more representative of the capability of many end-user Internet connections. In the first quarter of 2010, Akamai calculated an average maximum connection speed of 33 Mbps in South Korea, almost 3X the average connection speed within the country that has historically posted the globe’s highest speeds.
Asia continues to lead this metric as well, with South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan taking the first three slots in the top 10 list. European countries took six of the remaining slots, all with average maximum connection speeds over 15 Mbps, while the U.S. placed eighth with an average maximum connection speed of 16 Mbps.
Also new to the State of the Internet report this quarter is a review of average maximum connection speeds at a city level. Asia also dominates this list, although more than a quarter of the cities in the top 100 are in the U.S.
Global Average Connection Speeds
Average speed increases among the top 10 countries were minor, with Hong Kong and Denmark remaining essentially flat, and Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland improving from last quarter by 3.5 percent or less. Over the long term, year-over-year trends are generally positive, with seven of the top 10 countries having higher average connection speeds than during the same period a year ago. The U.S. ranked 16th globally.
During the first quarter, 96 countries had average connection speeds below 1 Mbps, a level consistent with the prior quarter. Akamai measured average connection speeds below 100 Kbps in five countries in the first quarter ? up from three in the fourth quarter of 2009. The lowest average connection speed was once again in Mayotte, at 40 Kbps, even with the prior quarter.
Fastest U.S. States
The overall average connection speed for the U.S. as a whole in the first quarter of 2010 was 4.7 Mbps. This was exceeded by 22 states. Across the country and within the top 10, most quarterly fluctuations were comparatively minor, although Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska did show impressive quarterly increases, gaining 37, 15, and 11 percent respectively. Delaware held its spot as the state with the fastest average connection, while Alaska continued to be the state with the lowest average connection speed, at 2.7 Mbps (up 30 percent year over year).
In the first quarter of 2010, over 487 million unique IP addresses from 233 countries/regions connected to the Akamai network ? 7.2 percent more unique IP addresses than in the fourth quarter of 2009, and 16 percent more than in the same quarter a year ago. While the yearly change was roughly consistent with the level seen in the fourth quarter of 2009, the quarterly change was nearly 75 percent higher than that seen in the fourth quarter, possibly indicating accelerated growth in Internet penetration levels.
Continuing the ongoing trend, the U.S. and China accounted for nearly 40 percent of the observed IP addresses. In looking at the “long tail,” there were 184 countries/regions with fewer than one million unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai in the first quarter of 2010.
In terms of year-over-year increases in the number of unique IP addresses seen by Akamai, China is growing fastest, with a 30 percent increase ? more than double the growth seen in the U.S.
Average maximum connection speeds on mobile networks around the world were fairly strong, with 83 of the 109 mobile providers achieving maximum measured speeds greater than the 2 Mbps broadband threshold; 33 achieving maximum measured speeds greater than the 5 Mbps high broadband threshold; and six achieving maximum measured speeds greater than 10 Mbps. Average measured connection speeds ranged from 7.2 Mbps down to 105 Kbps. Coincidentally, both extremes were observed on mobile providers in Slovakia.
During the first quarter of 2010, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 198 unique countries/regions. For the third consecutive quarter, Russia held the top spot originating 12 percent of observed attack traffic. The U.S. remained in second place at 10 percent, and China held steady in third place at 9.1 percent, followed by Taiwan, Brazil and Italy, respectively.