The speed at which we can access the internet is important. Very important.
I’ve written before on the evidence that internet bandwidth is a key driver of economic growth and online participation, and there is plenty of other research to point to its role in social value creation.
A decent source of data on internet speeds across countries is Speedtest.net, which aggregates the data from all the tests it does for its users. In quite a few countries it does not have extensive usage, however with a few exceptions the data usually appears to be fairly representative.
It has just provided a new update of Internet bandwidth country comparison data on its NetIndex site, including a chart of speeds over the last 2 1/2 years.
A selection of the data is shown below.
The top 20 places are almost all taken by Far Eastern and North and East European countries. UK comes in 25th and the US 31st. China, which includes very poor regions, averages 16.46Mbps and comes in at 46th, a strong position.
Australia is in 50th position, immediately behind Slovenia, Georgia, and Mongolia.
The second half of the table includes many poorer countries, but also more developed ones such as Malaysia, Argentina, and Greece.
For those countries that are not in the upper parts of the list, they should be concerned.
Internet bandwidth absolutely drives economic prosperity and social opportunity.