Akamai Report: Average Connection Speed Rises 14 Percent in Q3 2015

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Global Internet performance continues to improve, with average connection speed up 14 percent in the third quarter, according to new research from Akamai. Released on Wednesday, the Third Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet Report shows increasing broadband connectivity, and also focuses on IPv4 depletion.

The global average speed increased to 5.1 Mbps, up .2 from the second quarter, led by South Korea at 20.5 Mbps despite a significant drop in its national average speed. Peak connection speed actually decreased slightly from the previous quarter, but was still up 30 percent year over year. Singapore led average peak speed at 135.4 Mbps, and along with Macao (73.7 percent) increased by double digits.

The percentage of connections with speeds of over 25 Mbps increased as well, although the percentage of connections at that speed actually fell in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan by 37, 15 and 2.5 percent, respectively. The number of connections meeting the 4 Mbps broadband standard rose 2.7 percent in the quarter to 65 percent, for 9.8 percent year over year growth.

The number of IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai increased by about 4.8 million in the third quarter, partly offsetting a second quarter drop. ARIN issued the final IPv4 addresses in its free pool in the quarter.

“While we did observe an increase in the number of unique IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai, the third quarter of 2015 saw the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for North America completely exhaust its available inventory of IPv4 address space,” report editor David Belson said in a statement. “The continued depletion of IPv4 space, in both North America and around the world, should further spur organizations to expand or accelerate their own IPv6 adoption, particularly as the cost of obtaining IPv4 address space may rise as scarcity increases.”

Europe continued to dominate IPv6 adoption, with eight of the top 10 countries for IPv6 content requests by percentage in the third quarter. The companies with the most IPv6 requests were Verizon Wireless (72 percent) and Telenet (53 percent) of Belgium, which was the leading country for IPv6 requests. Other carriers, such as the UK’s largest telecom BT, announced IPv6 rollout plans in the quarter.

IPv6 connections will no doubt leap in the next year, possibly even in the next quarter, while the trend of gradual global increase in average connection speed seems to be rising steadily, which is important given the expected growth in data demanded by streaming and the Internet of Things.

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