Global average connection speeds rose 23 percent year over year to 6.3 Mbps in Q1 2016. Furthermore, 8.5 percent of users now have broadband speeds of at least 25.0 Mbps, the closest the figure has ever been to double digits. The latest numbers come from Akamai, which published its quarterly State of the Internet Report.
According to the report, 138 countries experienced an increase in average connection speeds year over year, ranging from 0.5 percent in Suriname to 298 percent in Kenya. Eight countries saw their average connection speeds decrease year over year, with losses ranging from 1.5 percent in Gabon (to 1.8 Mbps) to 23 percent in Syria (to 1.4 Mbps).
As you can see below, all of the top 10 countries/regions saw growth year over year as well as growth quarter over quarter:
In January 2015, the United States’ FCC redefined its broadband threshold from 4 Mbps downstream to 25 Mbps. Global adoption of speeds of 4 Mbps and greater (the old U.S. definition of broadband) increased 16 percent year over year to hit 73 percent penetration. Adoption of speeds 10 Mbps and up grew 34 percent year over year to hit 35 percent penetration, while adoption of 15 Mbps and up grew 58 percent year over year to hit 21 percent penetration.
Most importantly, global adoption of speeds 25 Mbps and greater (the current U.S. definition for “broadband”) increased 86 percent year over year to hit 8.5 percent penetration. All of the top 10 countries have a penetration rate in double digits, and the top five can say one in five of their citizens has broadband speeds.
As in previous reports, Akamai also cited mobile traffic data collected by Ericsson, which has a presence in more than 180 countries and a customer base representing more than 1,000 networks. The volume of mobile data traffic grew 9.5 percent quarter over quarter and 60 percent year over year:
Mobile voice traffic continues to show a flat progression, while mobile data is still growing steadily. The latter is naturally driven by an increase in the number of mobile devices as well as growth in average data volume, largely thanks to mobile users watching more videos. A plateau doesn’t seem to be on the horizon anytime soon.