Akamai publishes an quarterly report on the State of the Internet, and the Q1 2012 report has been published covering diverse statistics from IPv4 Exhaustion to Internet Disruptions in Australia. The area many people in the UK will focus on is where we stand with regards to connection speeds and broadband connectivity, and the short summary is that the UK is still way down the table, but showing increasing signs of improvement.
|Rank||Country||Q1'12 Avg Mbps||YoY Change|
The table above excludes the UK, as our average measured connection speed according to Akamai is 5.6 Mbps, an improvement of 20% on last years result, but still only places us at 15th position across Europe, (21st in the global table).
|Global Rank||Country||% Above 4 Mbps||YoY Change|
The above chart which shows the percentage of connections at 4 Mbps or faster moves the UK further up into 10th place in Europe. As with other statistics the UK is improving, but at the same time the rest of Europe is also improving, so if one ignores aspects like price, choice of provider and other metrics the UK looks unlikely to meet the Governments 2015 target of 'Best in Europe', but bringing those metrics into play then we would be a lot higher up the table.
The Akamai report is about actual observed speeds on Akamai services, so even countries that have very high adoption rates for fibre services may actually have low figures due to the fact that even with full fibre to the home there will still be contention in the core network. Also the report cannot measure those who have no internet connectivity, and the fact that take-up of broadband (fast or slow) is so high in the UK will actually do us no favours in these sorts of comparisons. A country where metro-ethernet (FTTB) is the only real internet service and is limited to the cities will feature higher up the charts, than those where even those in small villages (100+ homes) should have some connectivity.
The fact that 58% of UK connections can actually download at 4 Mbps or faster from Akamai servers is actually very good, when you consider that only around two thirds of phone lines are capable of these speeds.