news Australia’s average Internet speeds have decreased by 23% compared with a year ago, according to the latest quarterly figures from global content distribution network (CDN) giant Akamai.
The company’s Q4 2012 State of the Internet report (available for download here, or read the executive summary here), compiled from a significant volume of usage data based on the company’s delivery of streaming and static content around the world, put Australia well behind advanced Asian countries, the United States and UK in key metrics.
Charts of the number of connections to Akamai that were faster than 10Mbps, for example – classified as ‘high broadband adoption’ – placed Australia (at 3.84%) ahead of New Zealand (2.42%) but well behind the US (19.5%), UK (11.47%), Hong Kong (approx. 27%), Japan (39.48%), South Korea (49.41%) and Singapore (approx. 8%).
Embarrassingly, Australia also lags most developed countries in Akamai’s measures of connections faster than 4Mbps – ‘broadband adoption’, in Akamai parlance, with the UK (64.44%), US (65.76%), South Korea (86.00%), New Zealand (36.55%), Russia (51.90%), Portugal (56.20%), Japan (76.07%), France (47.34%), Canada (71.78%), Finland (62.16%) and even New Zealand (36.55%) all besting Australia’s broadband adoption rate of 35.57%.
This lack of momentum is reflected in average Australian connection speeds, which were flagged as being 2.3% less than in Q3 2012, while average Australian speeds dropped 23% year-on-year overall.
Interestingly, average peak connections in Australia were 23.4Mbps in 2012 – down 28% compared with 2011 – which hit Australia’s fast broadband ranking. Australia and South Korea were the only Asia-Pacific countries to see high broadband adoption rates decline year over year – by 56% and 13% respectively – compared with the same period in 2011.
The results must be taken with a grain of salt, since they only reflect usage on Akamai’s network: therefore, the loss of a major Australian video-streaming client, for example, might skew results towards lower-speed broadband. Akamai says that it recorded nearly 700 million unique IP addresses from 240 regions during the quarter – representing a 10% increase over 4Q2011.
The overall figures may also not reflect the popularity of mobile broadband in Australia, where average connection speeds are slower than on fixed land-line services but usage is relatively high. With average peak connection speeds of 17.13Mbps and average connection speeds of 2.45Mbps, Akamai figures ranked Australia’s mobile connectivity third in the Asia-Pacific region, behind mobile carriers in Hong Kong and Malaysia and just ahead of New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and others.
The Akamai report also looked at the various countries as sources of security attacks. In this metric, China (41%) far outstripped the rest of the top ten, which included the US (10%), Turkey (4.7%), Russia (4.3%), Taiwan (3.7) and others.
Image credits: Akamai