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Akamai Technologies has released its First Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet Report. Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the report provides insight into key global statistics such as connection speeds, broadband adoption across fixed and mobile networks, and IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.
“We saw generally positive results across all of the key metrics during the first quarter of 2015,” said David Belson, editor of the report. “The increase in global broadband speeds demonstrates an ongoing commitment to higher standards. While connectivity will continue to differ across many regions, we see the highest broadband speeds in countries/regions with high population densities and strong government backing or support, as well as those that foster competition among Internet providers.”
European Highlights from Akamai’s First Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet Report:
Average and Peak Connection Speeds: positive long-term European growth trends continued
In the first quarter of 2015, the global average connection speed for the first time reached 5 Mbps, a 10 per cent increase over the previous quarter. Quarterly global average connection speeds among the top 10 countries all remained well above 10 Mbps, and six of the 10 had average speeds above 15 Mbps, as Ireland (17.4 Mbps), Sweden (15.8 Mbps) and the Netherlands (15.3 Mbps) joined South Korea (23.6 Mbps), Hong Kong (16.7 Mbps) and Japan (15.2 Mbps) in exceeding this benchmark in the first quarter.
All European countries surveyed in the first quarter achieved average connection speeds above the 4 Mbps broadband threshold, with 13 countries in total achieving an average connection speed above the 10 Mbps threshold (Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Romania, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Austria and Germany). With an unusually large 37 per cent quarterly increase, Ireland (17.4 Mbps) beat out previous fourth quarter leader Sweden to take the top spot.
Year-over-year changes in average connection speeds were again consistently positive for Europe, with Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden, all posting yearly increases of more than 30 per cent. Austria saw the smallest increase at 10 per cent, while Ireland and Portugal posted the largest gains at 63 per cent and 43 per cent respectively. These highly positive long-term growth trends point to continued ongoing improvements in Internet connectivity within surveyed European countries.
In the first quarter of 2015, global average peak connection speeds increased 8.2 per cent to 29.1 Mbps. European countries saw stronger growth in average connection speeds compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, with increases ranging from Belgium’s 3.6 per cent to Norway’s 22 per cent. Romania held the top spot, with an average peak connection speed of 71.6 Mbps, and a further nine European countries achieved average peak connection speeds above 50 Mbps: Sweden (62.8 Mbps), the Netherlands (61.5 Mbps), Ireland (60.7 Mbps), Switzerland (59.7 Mbps), Belgium (53.5 Mbps), Finland (53.0 Mbps), Norway (51.9 Mbps), the United Kingdom (51.6 Mbps) and Hungary (50.4 Mbps).
Once again, year-over-year changes for European countries surveyed were consistently positive, with posted increases ranging between 20 per cent (Belgium) and 57 per cent (Ireland).
Broadband Connectivity: strong increases in 25 Mbps broadband adoption observed
For the first time, the State of the Internet is reporting on the percentage of IP addresses connecting to Akamai at average speeds of above 25 Mbps. Globally, 4.6 per cent of unique IP addresses connected to Akamai at average connection speeds of at least 25 Mbps, a 12 per cent increase over the previous quarter.
While South Korea led the world in 25 Mbps broadband adoption, with a 31 per cent adoption rate, seven European countries made an appearance in the top 10 country/region listing: Sweden (#3) headed the pack with a 15 per cent adoption rate, followed by Lithuania (#5), Latvia (#6), Norway (#7), Finland (#8), the Netherlands (#9) and Switzerland (#10). Year-over-year, the global 25 Mbps adoption rate grew 20 per cent; in Europe, Lithuania achieved an astounding 271 per cent yearly increase (to 12 per cent adoption), followed by Sweden (up 69 per cent), and Norway (up 60 per cent).
The global percentage of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai that met the 4 Mbps broadband speed threshold increased 6.6 per cent to 63 per cent, in contrast to the previous quarter’s slight decline in this metric. In Europe, the Netherlands jumped from fourth to first place this quarter with a 4.1 per cent quarterly gain pushing its adoption rate to 95 per cent. A further five European countries posted adoption rates above 90 per cent; Denmark (94 per cent), Romania (93 per cent), Switzerland (93 per cent), Sweden (91 per cent) and Austria (91 per cent).
In the first quarter of 2015, 26 per cent of unique IP addresses globally connected to Akamai at average speeds above 10 Mbps, an 11 per cent quarterly increase that is significantly greater than the previous quarter’s modest 2.9 per cent gain. In Europe, five countries had more than half of their unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai at average speeds above 10 Mbps: the Netherlands (61 per cent), Romania (59 per cent), Switzerland (59 per cent), Sweden (52 per cent) and Belgium (51 per cent). Quarter-over-quarter increases ranged from 3.9 per cent in Switzerland (59 per cent adoption) to 31 per cent in Germany (31 per cent adoption).
Fourteen per cent of unique IP addresses globally connected to Akamai at average connection speeds of 15 Mbps or above, up from 12 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and, year-over-year, the global 15 Mbps adoption rate grew 29 per cent. In Europe, Sweden once again led the pack, experiencing an 11 per cent quarterly boost to a 35 per cent adoption rate.
The Netherlands (33 per cent adoption) and Switzerland (32 per cent adoption) were not far behind, while a further five European countries (Norway, Romania, Finland, Czech Republic and Denmark) saw at least one-in-four IP addresses connect to Akamai at average speeds of at least 15 Mbps. Year-over-year, European countries achieved strong increases in 15 Mbps broadband adoption levels, with gains ranging from 17 per cent in Austria to an impressive 270 per cent in Portugal.
The first quarter of 2015 saw a number of announcements across Europe that point to continuing growth in fast broadband connectivity. The Italian government approved a six-year $6.7 billion high broadband connectivity initiative with the goal of delivering Internet speeds of 100 Mbps within cities, and 30 Mbps or more in less populated regions. In Wales, the government is collaborating with British telecommunications company BT to make 30 Mbps broadband capabilities available throughout the country, including less-connected rural areas; at the beginning of March, more than 45,000 homes had already gained fast broadband access through the Superfast Cymru project.
IPv4 and IPv6: European countries continued to lead the world in IPv6 adoption
Continuing with the trend seen in the fourth quarter of 2014, the number of unique IPv4 addresses worldwide connecting to Akamai grew by nearly 10 million in the first quarter of 2015. Among the top 10 countries in the first quarter, the United Kingdom and Japan showed the largest quarterly gains at 5.7 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively.
European countries continued to dominate the global top 10 countries/regions with the largest percentage of content requests made to Akamai over IPv6 in the first quarter of 2015. Similar to last quarter, Belgium maintained its clear lead, with one-third of content requests being made over IPv6, more than double the percentage of second-place Germany. Portugal, with a 57 per cent quarter-over-quarter jump in IPv6 traffic, joined the top 10 this quarter, pushing Romania off the list. As with the previous quarter, the only two non-European countries among the top 10 were the United States and Peru.
Cable and wireless/mobile providers continued to drive the largest volumes of IPv6 requests. In Europe, the Belgian carrier Brutele had 64 per cent of requests to Akamai made over IPv6 this quarter, closely followed by Telenet at 49 per cent. German carriers Kabel Deutschland, Kabel BW, and Unitymedia once again had more than a quarter of their requests to Akamai over IPv6.
Mobile Connectivity: UK had fastest average connection speed at 20.4 Mbps
In the First Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet Report, 62 countries/regions qualified for inclusion in the mobile connectivity section. The United Kingdom had the fastest average connection speed at 20.4 Mbps, a 28 per cent increase from the previous quarter. Denmark was again in second place, at 10 Mbps.
Average peak mobile connection speeds again spanned an extremely broad range, from 149.3 Mbps in Australia down to 8.2 Mbps in Indonesia. A total of four countries – Australia (149.3 Mbps), Japan (126 Mbps), Singapore (116.4 Mbps) and Thailand (105.4 Mbps) – posted average peak speeds above 100 Mbps, up from two countries in the fourth quarter. In Europe, the UK achieved the highest average peak mobile connection speed at 90.9 Mbps, followed by Germany (69.4 Mbps), Spain (57.1 Mbps) and Italy (53.7 Mbps).
Denmark led the world in the percentage of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai from mobile network providers within the qualifying countries/regions at average speeds of over 4 Mbps, with a 98 per cent adoption rate. It was followed closely by Sweden (97 per cent adoption), Venezuela (97 per cent adoption), Australia (96 per cent adoption) and the United Kingdom (95 per cent adoption).
• The UK had the fastest average mobile connection speed at 20.4 Mbps, a 28 per cent quarterly increase. 95 per cent of mobile broadband connections in the UK are above 4Mbps (it is 85 per cent for traditional broadband)
• UK Unique IPv4 IP address grew 7.2 per cent YoY, placing it sixth in the global rankings for this quarters report with 30,556,750 unique addresses
• The UK fails to make the top ten in terms of IPv6 traffic volumes
• The Isle of Man features in the top 10 4Mbps Broadband Adoption table with 93 per cent of connections observed at speeds above 4Mbps