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Akamai: U.S. Web speeds fast, but not blazing like South Korea's

Akamai's State of the Internet report reveals that the average connection speed in South Korea is about 16Mbps. In the U.S., it's 5.8Mbps.

A look at average Web connection speeds around the world. The lighter the color, the faster.
A look at average Web connection speeds around the world. The lighter the color, the faster.

We all want faster Web connections. But those connecting to the Web in South Korea are actually getting what they want, according to the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai.

According to the network solutions provider, South Korea is putting most other countries to shame with average Web connection speeds of about 16Mbps. The U.S., by contrast, offers average connection speeds of 5.8Mbps, putting it behind a host of countries, including Japan, Romania, and Switzerland.

Akamai also found that cities in the Asia Pacific region are far more likely to have fast Web connection speeds, with 61 cities in Japan featured in the list of fastest connections for cities.

Akamai releases its State of the Internet report each year. The company's findings this year are based on fourth-quarter data it collected from its worldwide network. According to a "Facts & Figures" page on its Web site, 15 percent to 30 percent of all Web traffic is delivered through Akamai's service, and the company delivers over 2 trillion daily Internet interactions. So, while it might not be able to speak for the entire Internet, its reach is extensive and its data can be relied upon.

Moving away from connection speeds, Akamai reported that it cataloged over 628 million unique IP addresses from 236 countries during the fourth quarter, representing a 2.1 percent gain over the third quarter of 2011. Web penetration was up 13 percent compared with the same quarter in 2010.

Overall, a minority of people have access to the highest speeds. In fact, Akamai found that just 27 percent of all connections it tallied came from speeds of 5Mbps or higher. On the mobile-connections side, it saw a spread between 163 kilobits per second and 5Mbps, and found that the vast majority of mobile connections average speeds of 1Mbps.

One other important note from Akamai's study: average peak connection speeds are up 55 percent in Africa and 238 percent in South America over the last four years.