The variety of connection speeds around the world – it matters!


I’ve written several times about internet bandwidth across countries and why it matters, including some interesting research back in 2007 correlating time spent on PCs with bandwidth and a more recent post on bandwidth and economic growth.

Now Royal Pingdom has compiled a nice list of real connection speeds in countries around the world, using the largest content delivery network, Akamai, as the source, making this probably the most reliable data available. Here is the list below.


Source: Royal Pingdom

A few interesting takeouts:

* South Korea stands out dramatically, with almost double the speed of Hong Kong, and more than double the next large country, Japan. Their long-term broadband policy has shaped the country and society.

* Eastern Europe performs very well, partly in a leap-frogging possible as infrastructure was created rather than renewed in the 1990s and last decade. Romania has significantly the highest bandwidth/ GDP per capita ratio in the world.

* The US languishes at #12, no doubt cause for consternation among politicians seeking to be best in the world, though all the countries other than Japan that are ahead of it are significantly smaller and are less distributed geographically.

* Australia really is very poorly placed at #25 (with 2.86Mbps), behind countries such as Greece and Thailand, making it one of the poorest performers in terms of bandwidth/ GDP per capita.

* Among the BRIC countries, Russia leads the pack with 2.59Mbps, while Brazil has just 1.36Mbps connection speed, and China with 0.86Mbps and India at 0.82Mbps even further behind. These speeds are increasing apace, but they need to.