Global Average Connection Speed Increases 26 Percent Year over Year, According to Akamai's 'Fourth Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet Report'

London - 8 March 2017

All key global broadband adoption metrics see double-digit gains year over year 

Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) a global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services, today released its Fourth Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet Report. Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform™, the report provides insight into key global statistics such as connection speeds, broadband adoption metrics, notable Internet disruptions, IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.

Data and graphics from the Fourth Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet Report can be found on the Akamai State of the Internet site and through the Akamai State of the Internet app for iOS and Android devices. State of the Internet Report- related discussions are also taking place on the Akamai Community.

“Internet connection speeds continued to show positive long-term trends around the world, with particularly strong year-over-year increases across all broadband adoption metrics,” said David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report. “When Akamai first published the report in 2008, we defined ‘high broadband’ as 5 Mbps and above, which nine years ago had an adoption rate of 16% globally. We’re now seeing a 15 Mbps adoption rate of 25% worldwide.

The upward trends are encouraging as businesses create and deliver even richer experiences for bigger audiences across the Internet, but accentuate the need for organizations to optimize those experiences for the myriad connected devices their customers are using.”

European Highlights from Akamai’s Fourth Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet Report:

Connection Speeds: Positive growth trend continued for European countries

  • Average connection speed increased in every country surveyed year-over-year except Russia, which saw no change compared with one year prior. Lithuania had the smallest increase at 1.9%, while Denmark had the largest at 29%.
  • With a robust 18% quarter-over-quarter increase in its average connection speed to 23.6 Mbps, Norway retained the top spot among the European countries surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Twenty-seven of the 31 surveyed countries had average connection speeds at or above 10 Mbps in the fourth quarter, up from 26 in the previous quarter.

Broadband Adoption: Norway again led Europe in 25 Mbps adoption

  • Six European countries featured in the global Top 10 Country/Region listing for 25 Mbps broadband adoption: Norway (#2), Sweden (#3), Denmark (#5), Switzerland (#6), Finland (#8) and Latvia (#10). Impressive year-over-year gains were posted by Denmark (79%), Switzerland (75%) and Norway (62%).
  • Norway held on to the top spot for 15 Mbps broadband adoption among surveyed European countries in the fourth quarter, tying second-place Switzerland with an adoption rate of 54%. Seven other countries (Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Romania, Latvia and Belgium) had 40% or more of unique IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai at average speeds above 15 Mbps.
  • With an adoption rate of 73%, Switzerland regained the top spot among surveyed European countries for 10 Mbps adoption, surpassing third-quarter leader, the Netherlands. All 31 surveyed European countries posted yearly gains in the fourth quarter, with Croatia seeing 10 Mbps adoption rates more than double (146%) year-over-year.

IPv4 and IPv6: Belgium remained global leader in IPv6 adoption

  • In the fourth quarter of 2016, nearly 807 million unique IPV4 addresses connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, which is a 0.4% decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • There was significantly less IPv4 allocation/assignment activity in the fourth quarter, with 6.4 million addresses allocated/assigned versus 16 million in the third quarter.
  • With 47% of its dual-stacked content requests to Akamai coming over IPv6, Belgium maintained its significant global lead in IPv6 adoption with a 20% quarter-over-quarter increase.
  • Cable and wireless/mobile providers continued to drive the largest volumes of IPv6 requests. In Europe, TELENET (Belgium), Kabel Deutschland (Germany) and Sky Broadband (UK) led the way with 65%, 53% and 50% of their dual-stacked requests to Akamai being made over IPv6 in their countries, respectively.

Mobile Connectivity: United Kingdom had the world’s highest average mobile connection speed

  • In the fourth quarter of 2016, the United Kingdom once again had the fastest average mobile connection speed at 26.8 Mbps.
  • Among the qualifying surveyed countries/regions in Europe, 19 had an average mobile connection speed at or exceeding 10 Mbps (up from 16 in the previous quarter).

Q4 2016 announcements herald continued positive growth trends in broadband adoption and speeds

  • The European Commission announced a €500 million Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF) to help the EU achieve its stated objective of universal access at 100 Mbps for all households, and 1 Gbps for all businesses, by 2025.
  • Sweden upgraded its connectivity targets for providing gigabit-speed broadband for 98% of its population by 2025.
  • The German government announced a four-phase plan to achieve gigabit infrastructure by 2025; phase one calls for universal coverage at 50 Mbps by 2018.
  • The UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom released a proposal for achieving the government’s Universal Service Obligation of 10 Mbps access by 2020.

UK Highlights:

  • The UK has recorded the highest mobile connection speed for the fourth consecutive quarter at 26.8 Mbps. 
  • Sky Broadband saw 50% of its requests to Akamai take place over IPv6
  • UK is in 9th place in Europe for average connection speeds (IPv4) at 16.3Mbps an 18% year on year increase
  • Only 91% of UK IPv4 average connection speeds were above 4 Mbps, placing it 12th in Europe
  • 57% of UK IPv4 average connection speeds were above 10 Mbps (11th place in Europe). A year on year speed increase of 15%
  • 39% of UK IPv4 average connection speeds were above 15Mbps (10th place in Europe).  A 22% year on year increase

Each quarter, Akamai publishes a “State of the Internet – Connectivity” report. This report includes data gathered from across the Akamai Intelligent Platform about attack traffic, broadband adoption, mobile connectivity and other relevant topics concerning the Internet and its usage, as well as trends seen in this data over time. Download the figures from the Fourth Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet Report here.

As the global leader in Content Delivery Network (CDN) services, Akamai makes the Internet fast, reliable and secure for its customers. The company's advanced web performance, mobile performance, cloud security and media delivery solutions are revolutionizing how businesses optimize consumer, enterprise and entertainment experiences for any device, anywhere. 

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