Akamai’s State of the Internet


A couple of weeks ago Akamai published a quarterly update to their ‘State of the Internet‘ report.

For those of you unfamiliar with Akamai, they have a network of servers that serve most of the content that you consume on the Internet – for instance the BBC doesn’t have thousands of servers providing the BBC website and iPlayer – they outsource the delivery of the web pages and video to Akamai. By ‘outsourcing’ the delivery, website speed increases significantly and the website can become less vulnerable to security attempts.

The report usually has an unhealthy technical bias towards the Internet. Yes, we may all need want to know how many more people came online in a quarter, but month after month it can become a little dull.

This quarter’s report has a number of gems tucked away beneath the surface:

  1. Akamai is now serving so many mobile phones, that from the next quarter they will start separating the mobile data reports from the fixed line data. This is a significant move in the industry – a real recognition that the mobile era has fully come of age.
  2. Global mobile network speeds range from 100Kbps to 3.2Mbps. 10 years ago geeks were at home unpacking our their 56k modems! Now, as a global range, the minimum speed of handsets browsing the web is twice that speed. There are homes in the UK that are unable to access more than 1Mb connections – with mobile networks delivering 3 times that speed.
  3. The countries with the highest number of IP addresses per capita (basically, everything connected to the Internet needs an IP address) are Norway, Finland and Sweden with 0.49, 0.44 and 0.43 respectively. All of the top 6 countries have a ratio of 0.4 or higher. That’s 4 IP addresses per every person in the country. The Scandinavian countries are higher undoubtedly through their mobile handsets – many of these countries have more than one mobile handset per person. 
  4. In terms of Global Connection Speeds, the highest European country is Romania (which comes fourth globally, behind South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan), with an average connection of 7.2Mbps. To put this into perspective, the US has an average connection speed of 3.8Mbps. (Shameless plug: this is ideal for our near shore development and managed services teams in Romania!).

If you have a spare 30 minutes on the tube over the next week, I’d recommend you download it here (you need to supply and then validate your email address first).

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